The Science Museum has over 300,000 objects in its care, with particular strengths in the history of western science, technology and medicine since 1700.
We have been uniquely placed to acquire objects recording the Industrial Revolution, and now hold unrivalled collections in this area. Medical artefacts from all periods and cultures also form an important part of our holdings.
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Our science collections contain the instruments that have made science such a pervasive and powerful element in modern culture. These objects illustrate how science and scientists have operated, whether in observation, analysis or experimentation.
Collections cover: astronomy and cosmology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, earth sciences, natural history, natural philosophy, navigation, surveying, time,, weights and measures.
The Museum's medical collections richly represent social, cultural and scientific aspects of medicine. Based on the permanent loan from the Wellcome Trust, these holdings are one of the world's most comprehensive and wide-ranging collections in this subject.
Ranging from prehistoric implements to MRI scanners and from London to Beijing, the great strengths are in clinical medicine and medical technologies from 1700 to the present day.
Information and communication technologies
Our ICT collections represent how the storage, manipulation and communication of information have become fundamental to human existence.
Our relationship with these technologies has been, and continues to be, one of the key cultural forces that shape human society. The collection covers electronics, information and computing, mechanical computing, media technologies, networks including the internet, printing, radio, satellites, sound reproduction, software and telephony.
Our engineering collections embody how human experience has been revolutionized by our capacity to make things. Changes in how things are manufactured, consumed and traded have made, and continue to make, revolutionary impacts on everyday life, energy consumption and the natural environment.
Within this area are the Museum's foundational collections of industrial revolution artefacts, which extend into all areas of engineering and manufacture. These are complemented by collections of manufactured products, the consumer goods that furnish domestic, working and leisure worlds. Transport technologies are represented by rich and specialised collections (rail transport is curated by our sister museum, the NRM). Impacts are represented in collections that represent energy sources, energy technologies, environmental and sustainable technologies