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Our collection

The Science Museum Group cares for an unparalleled collection of over seven million items related to science, technology, engineering and medicine.

Our collection traces its origin back to the 1851 Great Exhibition. Among the 7.3 million items we now care for there are:

  • 140,000 medical items, including the long-term loan of the Wellcome Collection
  • 38,000 items relating to railway locomotives, technology and railway life
  • 26,000 scientific instruments
  • 17,000 items of photographic, cinematographic and televisual technology
  • 7,000 artworks

The Science Museum Group has undertaken an ambitious project to transform how we care for and share our collection.

This incredible collection is astonishing, beautiful and world-renowned. Standout items from our collection include: Alan Turing’s Pilot ACE computer; one of the first models used to represent atomsCharles Babbage’s drawings and modelsDorothy Hodgkin’s model of penicillinHelen Sharman’s spacesuit and Tim Peake’s spacecraftAmy Johnson’s Gipsy Moth aircraft; famous locomotives from Stephenson’s Rocket and Sans Pareil to Mallard and Flying Scotsman and the world’s earliest surviving photographic negative.

Accessing the Collection online

You can discover over 380,000 of our remarkable objects, photographs and archive materials on our collection website.

Use the website to:

  • Search for a particular object, archive, individual or company;
  • Filter your results by date, category or location to narrow your results;
  • Find images of objects and archive material in our collection.

Our digitisation programme continues to enhance existing collection information and add new items from the collection to the website, enabling you to explore more of the collection than ever before.

You can also discover more through our online catalogues:

Alternatively, try some of our online tools to explore the collection:

Even the most ordinary objects have extraordinary stories to tell: if you would prefer to delve further:

Accessing the Collection in-person

You can see many thousands of objects from the collection on display in exhibitions and galleries at each of our museums:

Only a small proportion of our objects are on display at any given moment. To view objects, and archive and library materials which are not on display, you can enquire about an appointment using the links below. 

The majority of objects from the Science Museum Group Collection are now housed in a new collection management facility at the Science and Innovation Park in Wiltshire:

Certain items not on display may also be viewed at: