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Library and Archives at the National Collections Centre

The National Collections Centre is home to the Science Museum’s world-class Library and Archive collection of over half a million items.

Access to most of our collections can be arranged through the Dana Research Centre and Library in London.

If material cannot be transported there, you may be able to consult it at the Library and Archives at the National Collections Centre. This will be assessed by our staff on a case-by-case basis, and where access is permitted, you will be offered a Friday visit providing that we have available space and that you agree to abide by our Covid-19 access arrangements.

Please send your enquiries to and we will respond within 20 working days. We also offer a free enquiry service to help you find out more about the items in the Science Museum Library and Archive Collections.

Science museum group collection

Thousands of large objects from the Science Museum Group Collection are cared for at the National Collections Centre when not on display in the Group’s five museums. We have embarked on an ambitious project to transform public access to these historic items, enabling you to explore more of the collection than ever before. The collection is currently being digitised with hundreds of new images added to our online collection each month. A purpose-built home for the collection is currently under construction at the National Collections Centre and will open for public tours, school and research visits from 2024.

Using services at the National Collections Centre

Science Museum Library and Archive Collection

The Science Museum’s world-class library and archive collections chart the world-wide development and history of science, engineering and medicine from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century.

Original printed works include books, journals, patents, trade literature, directories and maps in English and other European languages. The archives hold original records of some of the most famous and influential individuals and companies in the fields of science, medicine, engineering and industry.

Some books and journals are available at the Dana Research Centre and Library in London, but nearly all the collections are stored at the National Collections Centre at Wroughton, near Swindon. Selected items can be transported to the library in London for consultation there.

More about our collection