The Collections

These important collections demonstrate the enormous contribution UCL has made to the advancement of science and engineering at a worldwide level. Please follow the link in the subheading of the text to visit the relevant departmental website.

Four Geissler Tubes (Chemistry)

Geomatic Engineering

The UCL Geomatic Engineering Collection includes one of only three known examples of an astro-clinometer, used by the RAF on long-range desert missions during World War 2, as well as historical surveying and engineering instruments.

Reflecting Galvanometer (Physics)


Highlights of the UCL Chemistry Collections include the Nobel Prize Citation awarded to Sir William Ramsay for his discovery of the noble gases and Britain's very first X-ray photograph used for clinical purposes.


The UCL Physics Collection houses historic laboratory and experimental apparatus dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. There are items as diverse as photographs, reflecting galvanometers and a magic lantern projector.

Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Valves (Electrical Engineering)

At UCL in 1904, Sir Ambrose Fleming developed one of the most important inventions of the last century - the Thermionic Valve. This led to the invention of radio as a long range wireless communication tool and marked the birth of modern electronics. This collection houses Fleming's valves, academic papers and items relating to his long-term collaboration with Marconi and the telecommunications revolution.


The UCL Physiology Collection, from the leading university in the study of the subject in the early 20th century, includeds published papers from the 1860s, departmental photographs and handbooks, scientific apparatus, thermopiles and a portable Haldane, used to measure oxygen levels in blood.

Crookes Tube (Medical Physics)

Medical Physics

The UCL Medical Physics department is one of the oldest in the world, and its collection includes objects such as a prototype of the Farmer-Baldwin Dosemeter, used for measuring radiation for X-rays, early X-ray tubes and an X-ray of the hand of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, made as a memento of her visit to the department in 1935.