Small object storage

Our small objects are held at Blythe House in West London.

Blythe House was built in the early twentieth century as the headquarters of the Post Office Savings Bank.  The building is shared between the Science Museum, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum as a storage facility for small and medium sized objects.

The Science Museum occupies over 90 rooms, which are filled with 203,000 artefacts relating to the history of medicine, science and technology. Within the rooms, the majority of objects are either floor standing, or laid out on shelves or in cupboards with glass doors, so that they can be made available to visitors, researchers and staff.  Daylight is blocked out by covering windows, which also reduces dust levels, and the environment is monitored, with a pest management strategy in place to reduce the agents of deterioration. Some rooms contain air filtration systems to remove acidic fumes, for example from the early plastics collection.

The basement and the majority of rooms on the ground floor are occupied by objects from the collections of the Wellcome Trust, which are artefacts of the history of medicine.   The ground floor also houses part of the pictorial collections and then the remaining four floors hold the rest of the objects, arranged by collection type.

Also at Blythe House is a conservation laboratory, a photographic studio, a quarantine area (where incoming objects are checked before being transferred to the main rooms), a research room and the collections logistics office.  The logistics staff maintain the store and make the objects accessible for use in exhibitions, loans and public events.  The unit includes the object movement team who transfer the objects between museum sites and the storage coordinator.

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