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Open seven days a week, 10.00 - 18.00. Entry is free*.

Using library and archive services in London

The Science Museum’s Dana Research Centre and Library is open five days a week, from 10.00 to 17.00.

It is closed on Bank holidays and from 23 December 2016 to 2 January 2017. 

Visitors can consult around 6000 books and journals covering museum studies, the history and biography of science technology and medicine and the philosophical and social aspects of these subjects. 

You do not need a prior appointment for browsing the open access collections, for using our online catalogue or for consulting books and journals published up to 100 years ago ordered from Wroughton.

You will need to book ahead if you have ordered archives, rare books, anything published over 100 years ago, or microfilms and microfiche. 

Open access collections

  • Around 5,500 books on museum studies, the history and biography of science technology and medicine and the philosophical and social aspects of these subjects. These are arranged by classification number and staff can help you find subjects
  • The past five years of current journal subscriptions, arranged alphabetically by title. Some journals are available in physical and electronic form but many, including core titles, are only available electronically. Please see our Digital library page for guidance.
  • Selected reference works and collective biographies are on the shelves at the end of the main reading area

Reader desks

There are 18 reader study tables and seats: 12 in the main reading area, two large desks for consulting special collections and four quiet study tables, each with electrical sockets and task lighting. There are four desks for PCs to access the Library and Archive catalogues and the Library’s electronic resources; one PC is connected to the digital microfilm reader.

Using archives and library special collections

You can order library and archive material from our Wroughton stores in advance. Library staff will inform you when the items are ready and you need to book a date and time to visit.

This service is available 10.00–13.00 and 14.00–16.45, Monday to Friday.

Staff will provide books supports, book snakes and magnifiers for your use and gloves if you are consulting photographs.

Photocopying and printing

  • Please pay at the Library Help desk using cash, credit or debit cards. We accept most cards except American Express or Diners card.
  • Any photocopying or photography is subject to copyright restrictions. Please ask for guidance at the Help Desk before proceeding.
  • You cannot photocopy archives or rare books, but copies can be ordered from our Wroughton Library, including copies of large format engineering drawings.  Download our copying request form

Borrowing books

Borrowing is restricted to:

  • Current Science Museum Group staff, accredited researchers and volunteers
  • Imperial College staff and postgraduate students

Please ask library staff how many volumes you may borrow when you register.


  • There are recordable CCTV cameras to protect our collections and to protect you.
  • The open-access collections are security tagged and an alarm will sound if any are taken out of the Library.

Other facilities

Main toilets are on the first floor and an accessible toilet on the ground floor. A water fountain is also available on the ground floor and free Wi-Fi throughout the Centre.

Group visits

We welcome research-based group visits, preferably on Wednesday afternoons and you must book at least a month in advance. Your visit will be focused on how to research and use our collections and we will highlight which materials are most appropriate for your needs.