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Revealing the Science Museum Group Collection

For over a century we have studied, displayed and cared for the nation's scientific heritage. This incredible collection is astonishing, beautiful and world-renowned.

However, only a small proportion of the collection is visible online or in our five museums. This ambitious project will transform public access to these historic items, enabling you to explore more than ever before.

For the first time the Science Museum Group Collection will be open to all, accessible through public tours of the collection’s first purpose-built home and freely available online through the world’s most extensive online collection of science, technology, engineering and medicine.

What's happening now?

Our team at the Blythe House object store in west London are working hard to study, record, digitise, pack and transport over 300,000 objects to their new home at the National Collections Centre.

As part of our work, thousands of historic items are being photographed and published online for the first time, ready for you to explore.

We will also continue to share incredible stories from the collection through short films and long-form online content. New online tools (such as the Random Object Generator) will help you discover items from across this vast collection.

Next steps

Soon we will begin construction of a new collection management facility at the National Collections Centre in Wiltshire, which as the collection's new home will provide stable conditions for its long-term preservation and care.

This new facility is the size of 600 double decker buses (90m wide and almost 300m long) and features a spacious storage hall, conservation laboratories, research spaces and photography studios.

Once the new facility is completed in 2020, we will begin the mammoth task of moving 300,000 objects into their new home.

From 2023, the facility will welcome thousands of school children, researchers and members of the public, giving you unprecedented access to the national collection.

 

100,000 objects

This month we reached a huge milestone. The team has now updated records for 100,000 objects from the collection and checked each item for potential hazards. We asked the team to share some of the hazards they look out for in a new blog post.


Stories From The Stores

The second series of Stories From The Stores features interesting items from the collection not usually on display. Find out about Luke Howard and how he was the first person to name the clouds:


Capturing the collection

Over the last few months our photography team have been busy capturing thousands of new images of the collection and publishing them online. This the first time many of our objects—including microscopes, typewriters, shavers and slide rules— have been available online. L.C. Smith & Corona typewriter, model 8, 1926