Accessing the collections

A researcher stands at a trolley looking at specimens with cabinets behind

The Natural History Museum collections are open

Our curators are currently clearing backlogs of acquisitions, loans and enquiries and preparing for a major collections move to a new science centre.

Please contact the relevant curator, Curator in Charge or Head of Collections with enquiries about whether research visits or research loans are possible.

Due to many major projects in the Museum, loans will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. This also means that we will require 12 months minimum notice period between the official loan request rather than nine months.

We regret we cannot accommodate loan requests made with less than 12 months' notice.  All our other exhibition loans information remains the same please see Loans.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about accessing the collections for research purposes please contact the appropriate collections manager or curator.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.

Visitor information

How do researchers book a visit?

Visitors are only admitted by prior appointment.

Documents required

You will be required to provide personal identification to access certain collections.

What can researchers bring?

Find out what you can take into the collections.

How we support your visit

Find out about how we support you during your visit to the Museum's collections.

Visitor responsibilities

Our visitors contribute to the collections, both scientifically and educationally.

Access for non-scientists

For most enquiries, the first point of contact should be the Registrar.

How to find us

Museum's collections are spread across three sites.


Collections material may be borrowed for display, scientific research purposes or as part of a touring exhibition, subject to certain conditions.

Collections online

Take a look at our online collections to see if we have the specimens you need.