What are the Museum Archives?

The Museum Archives collect and make accessible the institutional archives of the Natural History Museum.

We hold material tracing the history of the Museum from its foundation as part of the British Museum to the present day. 

To find out more browse our collections or search the Museum Archives catalogue. Some material has not yet been catalogued, so if you cannot find what you are looking for please contact us directly.

  • Museum visitors.
    Collections and topics

    Find out more about the items we hold, from letters and expedition diaries to news cuttings and specimen accession registers.

  • Young visitor in the Museum, 1963.

    Our extensive photograph collection traces the history and operation of the Museum since it opened in 1881.  

  • The Natural History Museum from Cromwell Road, 1880.
    History of the Museum

    Trace the evolution of the Natural History Museum, from Hans Sloane's collections at the British Museum to cutting-edge research taking place today.

Museum telephonist, 1933.
Contact the Museum Archives

Request information about the Museum Archive materials.

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Chimpanzee skeleton, 1907.
Museum Archives catalogue

Browse or search online for Archive materials.