Our Wroughton library contains original scientific, engineering and technology material from the last 500 years and all of our Archive collections.

Wroughton Library & Archives

The Science Museum Library & Archives at Wroughton is free to visit and open to the public and researchers on Fridays by prior appointment. 

Please note that the Library and Archives at Wroughton is not a browsing library. Visitors must indicate the material they wish to consult in advance of their visit to allow staff to provide guidance and prepare materials as appropriate. 

View our library catalogue online 

Contact us to arrange a visit

On rare occasions we may have to cancel a booking but we will inform visitors in good time and make every effort to accommodate them in the future.

Our services will be limited until the new Research Centre opens in London in late 2015. 

See what services we currently offer

Access to the Wroughton Library and Archives collection

We are open to the public on Fridays 10.00–17.00.

The Library and Archive will be closed during the whole of August. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

All visitors must report to the Red Barn Gatehouse at the main site entrance on arrival, and provide identification for a site pass. The security staff will then provide directions across the site to where the Library and Archives building is located.

Visitors wishing to consult our specials collections – which include the archives, old and rare books and printed material over 100 years old – will need to register with us. Please provide identification on your first visit, preferably something with proof of your address, for example, a current utility bill, drivers licence, or passport.

Group visits 

We welcome research-based group visits at Wroughton. We provide this service on Thursdays and you must book at least a month in advance. Your visit will be focused on how to research and use our collections and we will highlight which materials are most appropriate for your needs. 

Reader facilities

  • Disabled access
  • Permanently staffed enquiries desk to assist with all queries
    Water machine
  • Areas for eating a packed lunch. Please note that there are no food purchasing facilities on site
  • Fully refundable coin-operated lockers
  • Toilets including disabled facilities
  • PC/laptop plug in points
  • General reference material including archive listings
  • Access to electronic resources including J-Stor (over 5 millions articles online), The Times Digital Online and The Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography
  • Photocopying machine. Please note that payment is by cheque or credit card only. We accept most credit cards except American Express or Diners card.

Please note that any photocopying or photography is subject to copyright restrictions. Please ask for guidance at the enquiries desk before proceeding.


Science Museum Library & Archives
Science Museum at Wroughton
Hackpen Lane

Tel: 01793 846222
Email: smlwroughton@sciencemuseum.org.uk

Deliveries and all access to the site via Red Barn Gate SN4 9LT

Location and directions

The Science Museum Library & Archives at Wroughton is located at the Hackpen end of the Science Museum's airfield site at Wroughton just south of Swindon in Wiltshire. Please see map below. Access is via Red Barn Gate on the A4361 Devizes Road (postcode SN4 9LT for SatNav users).

Wroughton Map

View larger map

Travelling by car

Approaching from Swindon:

Follow signs to Wroughton crossing the M4 and passing the Prospect Hospice and the Ridgeway Hospital on the left. Turn right at “Three Tuns” roundabout (following the sign for the Science Museum) and continue through Wroughton centre. Follow the A4361 towards Avebury and Devizes. Climb up the hill out of Wroughton until reaching the top where there are two isolated houses on the left hand side opposite an unmarked road on the right. Behind the houses is a large hangar with a white roof. Just past the two houses and immediately before the bus stop is a turning on the left (signed “Science Museum Store and Library”), this leads to the main entrance to the museum site. Please report to Red Barn Gatehouse on arrival. 

Approaching from the West or East on the M4:

Leave the motorway at Junction 16 for Swindon (West) and follow the B4005 towards Wroughton until reaching a set of traffic lights at crossroads in the centre of the village. Turn right on the A4361 towards Avebury and Devizes and then follow the instructions as if approaching from Swindon.

Travelling by train

Swindon Railway Station is approximately 4 miles from the main entrance to the site. Visitors who take a taxi to the Library & Archives should ensure that their taxi driver delivers them all the way across the site to the library building itself and not just to the main site entrance.