Research visits

The museum welcomes anyone who wishes to study its stored collections and archives on pre-booked research visits.

Making an appointment

To make an appointment please complete a Research Visit Request Form (Word 158kb, opens in new window)). To help us deal with your request efficiently, you should be as specific as possible about what you wish to see and why. Once you have completed the form please send it to the general Museum of London enquiry email address at [email protected].

Please note each collection has a different notice period for access. If you are unsure which collection you wish to study, visit the pages about the collections to find out more.

Appointments are available Monday to Friday and may be limited in length and number of objects it is possible to examine at one time. Four weeks’ notice is recommended, apart from the dress and textile collection, where requests should be made 8-10 weeks in advance. During busy periods please be aware that additional restrictions may apply, and in exceptional circumstances access withdrawn. Unfortunately the museum cannot provide research visits at short notice or without an appointment.

From 2 January to 3 July 2017, we shall be carrying out a full stock-check of the archaeological archive. Access will therefore be limited throughout this period and research visits must be booked in advance with at least 4 weeks’ notice.

Research visits to the Centre for Human Bioarchaeology are not currently possible, but osteological data for research will be accessible online as normal.

Advance notice of 3-4 weeks is recommended, with appointments currently available on Thursdays only. Both archives are based in the Sainsbury Study Centre at the Museum of London Docklands.

  • Museum Library

Two weeks’ notice is recommended, with appointments available Monday to Friday.

Confirming the appointment

Once your form is received we will reply within 20 working days to arrange an appointment. You will need to reply within two weeks to confirm the booking, or agree an alternative date. If you subsequently have to cancel an appointment, please let us know.

The research visit

On your first visit you must bring two forms of identification, proof of your name with signature and proof of address. Please see the list below and note that documents need to be originals.

All visits will also be subject to the terms published on the reverse of the Research visit request form, which you will be asked to sign on arrival.

Photography and reproductions

During your visit you may be permitted to make reproductions (photographs, films and photocopies) of items for private study and non-commercial research. Please be aware that it may not be possible to reproduce certain collections because of copyright legislation, handling restrictions or other reasons.

If you wish to photograph or film items during your visit please complete an Agreement for Non-Professional Reproduction of Objects (Word 50kb, opens in new window) before your visit and submit it with the Research Visit request form.

Commercial reproduction requests should be submitted to the Picture Library at [email protected] or, in the case of the Archaeological Archive, discussed with the Archivist at [email protected].

Photocopying of appropriate material will be charged at 10p per A4 page and 20p per A3 page.

Archival documents relating to collections

The museum is able to make archival documentation relating to objects available. However, this needs to be requested when arranging an appointment, as the use of records is invigilated. Documents may be restricted or redacted, as they are subject to compliance with the Freedom of Information and the Data Protection Acts.

Identification requirements

On your first visit you must bring two forms of original identification, copies are not acceptable. Please select one from each of the two lists below. The museum will not make copies of these documents.

Proof of name with signature

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Bank card
  • Credit card
  • National ID card
  • Police/Customs/Home Office/warrant card
  • Forces ID card
  • Sea /Air Masters licence
  • Government/local council staff ID

Proof of address

  • Utility bill
  • Bank/building society statement
  • Credit card statement
  • Council tax bill
  • Council payment book
  • Council rent card or tenancy agreement
  • HM Revenue and Customs statement
  • National ID card with address
  • Driving licence with address
  • Home Office permit to stay
  • University certificate for hall of residence (stamped and signed by institution)
  • TV licence
  • Firearms licence
  • Home insurance policy
  • Benefit/Family Credit Book
  • Pay slip (where employer’s and employee’s addresses are stated)
  • State pension book