The History of Science Museum contains an internationally important collection of scientific objects, but only about one fifth of the collection is on permanent public display.

Regular Special Exhibitions often showcase objects normally in store. The Collections database contains detailed information on over 30,000 objects, manuscripts, and other archives, many of them photographed. Members of the public can, where appropriate, make research visits to view objects.

Loans policy update

From February 2020 until late 2025, our Research, Teaching and Collections team is working on a series of major moves to improved facilities where we can better take care of our collections.

Because of the significant work involved, we are unfortunately not able to offer our normal level of lending to short-term exhibitions during this time.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

More information
If you need more information, please contact our Collections Managers at

Research, loan, and new image photography
Some of our stored collections will also be less accessible for research, loan, and new image photography. If you are interested in a particular object or collection, please submit a Collections Enquiry and we will check availability for you.


Read our Loans Policy