Skip to main content

The museum is temporarily closed to the public until further notice

You are here:

Research the collection

Due to the nationwide coronavirus restrictions in England, Insight: Collections and Research Centre is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

While Insight is temporarily closed, our collection⁠—and the inspirational stories it contains⁠—remains open to you online. You can find further information about the objects, archives and library we care for via Collection Online, the archive catalogue, the Science Museum library catalogue and the National Railway Museum library catalogue.

We offer a free enquiry service to help you find out more about the items in the Science Museum Group Collection. Please contact us via We would normally aim to respond to enquiries within 20 working days; however, responses may take longer at the moment due to Covid-19.

Whether your research is academic, professional or personal, everyone is welcome to make an appointment to visit Insight, our research centre.

At Insight: Collections and Research Centre, you can discover our collection and make use of our extensive research library. Study prints by some of the world’s greatest photographers; examine apparatus that illuminates the history and development of sound and vision technologies; and access many specialist publications and journals.

In our collection


Visitors to Insight have access to the following facilities:

  • Three print rooms housing over 3 million photographs
  • Three stores containing thousands of collection objects
  • A reference library housing an extensive collection of books, periodicals, journals and trade literature
  • A purpose-built reading room with reader tables, power sockets and free WiFi

There is also a space suitable for larger research groups, the Kraszna-Krausz Room, which can be booked on request.

Available dates and making an appointment

Due to Covid-19, Insight: Collections and Research Centre is temporarily closed. Available dates will be added to this page when we are able to confirm them.

Part of the Science Museum Group