About the Museum Archives

The Museum Archives relate to the work of every department in the Museum. They complement the collections of specimens, Library and Special Collections material and are a rich resource for anyone wanting to learn about the development and activities of the Museum, our buildings, staff, collections and the study of natural history. The bulk of the collection consists of typed and handwritten papers, and also includes born-digital material, photographs, architectural plans, objects and oral history recordings. There is no restriction on the type of media included. The earliest material dates from 1739, but most of the collection dates from the mid-nineteenth century onwards.

The Archives collect records which document:

  • Management and administration of the Museum and departments
  • Policy and strategy development and implementation
  • External relations
  • Collections management
  • Scientific research and expeditions
  • Public engagement (e.g. exhibition development, learning activities)
  • Resource management (e.g. finance, personnel, estates)
  • Museum publications (e.g. final pre-publication content, publicity material, internal publications).