Due to Covid-19, Insight: Collections and Research Centre is closed to the public until the week beginning 16 November.
During this challenging period, our priority has been to care for the Science Museum Group collection and prepare to safely reopen our museums to the public. Our team continue to work through the complexities and practicalities of safely operating Insight with social distancing measures in place, including introducing the ability for you to book appointments online.
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 archives we care for below, and you can explore further 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 items in the Science Museum Group Collection. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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
Insight is open by appointment during Research Week, which falls on the third week of every month—the full list of 2020 dates is below. Opening hours are 10.30–12.45 and 13.45–16.00, Monday to Thursday.
It’s free to visit Insight, but you must book in advance. We will be opening online booking shortly; a link will be added to this page when it’s available.