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Dana Research Centre and Library

The Dana Research Centre and Library is a world-class environment for academic research, bringing together the museum’s thriving Research and Public History Department and access to its library and archive collection.

Opening times

The centre is open to researchers and members of the public wishing to research our collections on Thursdays and Fridays from 11:00 to 17:00 via pre-booked appointments. It is closed on Bank holidays and over the Christmas and New Year Period.

If you wish to visit, please email us in advance to book an appointment.

Contact us

The Dana Research Centre and Library
165 Queen’s Gate

Telephone: 020 7942 4242

Access and Registration

To visit the Dana Research Centre and Library, please enter via 165 Queen’s Gate and give your name at the reception desk. Then 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. Library staff at the help desk will welcome you as you enter the Library and can help with your queries. 

If you are using archives, special collections, or museum files, you will need to leave your belongings and any food and drink in a designated locker.  If you are not, please put any bags under your desk and you may only drink bottled water.

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, microfilms, museum files 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. 

Please follow the one-way routes around the library, wear a face-covering and always maintain social distancing.

Reader desks

There are eight reader study tables and seats: three in the main reading area, one large desk for consulting special collections and two quiet study tables, each with electrical sockets and task lighting. There are two desks for PCs to access the Library catalogue, the Archives catalogue and the Library’s Digital Library; one of these PCs is also connected to the digital microfilm reader.  

Open access collections

  • Around 6,900 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 that interest you.
  • 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; please see our Digital Library page for guidance.
  • The open-access collections are security tagged and an alarm will sound if they are removed from the Library.

Other collections

Over 99% of our library and archive collections are held at our Library and Archives at the National Collections Centre, near Swindon in Wiltshire. You will need to order material in advance and staff will inform you when they are likely to be ready, so you can book a seat.

If you wish to consult museum corporate or technical files in the library, please email the Freedom of Information team before contacting the library.

If you are consulting archives, the library’s special collections, or museum files, staff will provide books supports, book snakes and magnifiers, and they will issue you with gloves that you must use.

Photocopying and printing

  • Any photocopying or photography is subject to copyright restrictions. Please ask for guidance at the help desk before proceeding.
  • A combined photocopier printer is available, please ask staff to do this for you.
  • You cannot photocopy archives or rare books, but copies can be ordered from our Library at the National Collections Centre, including copies of large format engineering drawings. Please contact us for more information.

Borrowing books

Borrowing is restricted to current Science Museum Group staff, accredited researchers and volunteers, and Imperial College staff and postgraduate students. Please ask library staff how many volumes you may borrow when you register.

Other facilities

  • Toilets: the main toilets are on the floor above and there is an accessible toilet on the ground floor
  • Wi-Fi is freely available.

Group Visits 

All group visits are currently suspended.

Part of the Science Museum Group