The new Dana Research Centre and Library opens to the public on Monday 9 November 2015

The Library in London

Opening to the public on Monday 9 November 2015, the Science Museum’s Dana Research Centre and Library is the home to its library and archive services in London and to the Research & Public History department.

  • Open five days a week from 10.00 to 17.00.
  • Closed on Bank holidays and from 23 December 2015 to 1 January 2016.
  • Around 6000 books and journals covering museum studies, the history and biography of science technology and medicine and the philosophical and social aspects of these subjects.
  • No appointment needed to browse open access collections, use our online catalogue or consult books and journals published up to 100 years ago ordered from Wroughton.
  • Booking ahead compulsory if you have ordered archives, rare books, anything published over 100 years ago, or microfilms and microfiche.

Access and registration

The entrance is at 165 Queens Gate, please go down the staircase facing the entrance and turn right through the Library entrance. Disabled access is by lift; please ask for help at the main reception desk when you arrive in the building.

If this is your first visit, please report to the Library staff at the Help Desk as you enter the library. This is staffed during opening hours and we can help you with your queries.  Please leave your belongings and any food and drink in the refundable £1 coin-operated lockers.

You must register with the staff to access enhanced services, such as ordering and consulting books and journals over 100 years old, modern rare books, archives, or microfilms and for accessing our electronic resources. You must provide up-to-date photographic proof of your identity and proof of your current address. You will then receive a library card, which you can use to access enhanced services on the library catalogue. 

Open access collections

Around 5,500 books on museum studies, the history and biography of science technology and medicine and the philosophical and social aspects of these subjects. These are arranged by classification number and staff can help you find subjects

  • The past five years of current journal subscriptions, arranged alphabetically by title. Some journals are available in physical and electronic form but many, including core titles, are only available electronically
  • Reference books: selected reference works and collective biographies are on the shelves at the end of the main reading area

Reader desks

There are 18 reader study tables and seats: 12 in the main reading area, two large desks for consulting special collections and four quiet study tables, each with electrical sockets and task lighting. There are four desks for PCs to access the Library and Archive catalogues and the Library’s electronic resources [hyperlink to Digital Library]; one PC is connected to the digital microfilm reader.

Using archives and library special collections

You will need to order material in advance. Library staff will inform you when the items are ready and you need to book a date and time to visit. This service is available 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-16:45, Monday to Friday.

Staff will provide books supports, book snakes and magnifiers for your use and gloves if you are consulting photographs.

Photocopying and printing

  • Photocopier and printer: please pay for your copies at the Library Help desk using cash, credit or debit cards. We accept most cards except American Express or Diners card.
  • Any photocopying or photography is subject to copyright restrictions. Please ask for guidance at the Help Desk before proceeding.
  • You cannot photocopy archives or rare books, but copies can be ordered from our Wroughton Library, including copies of large format engineering drawings.  Download our copying request form 

Group visits

We welcome research-based group visits, preferably on Wednesday afternoons 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.

Borrowing books

Borrowing is restricted to

  • Current Science Museum Group staff, accredited researchers and volunteers;
  • Imperial College staff and postgraduate students
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • V&A Museum staff

Please ask library staff how many volumes you may borrow when you register.


The Dana Research Centre and Library
165 Queens Gate
London SW7 5HD
Telephone: 020 7942 4242