Research across our collections

In addition to research within our museums spaces, we also welcome from researchers who wish to gain access to the collections for study.

View a searchable online catalogue of the specimens held by the Museum. Please note the online catalogue is not 100% comprehensive and not all specimens are listed.

UCL Culture's collections

Galton Collection

Admission to the Galton Collection for research visits is by appointment only. 

  • To allow for ease of scheduling, you are advised to visit on Thursdays and to book your appointment as far in advance as possible.
  • You should have a good idea of what you want to see at the time of booking. It is possible to preview the collection via the Galton Collection Online Catalogue.
  • To make an appointment, please email the curator with details of your name, the purpose of your visit, proposed dates of your visit and contact details. We we get in touch by email or telephone, either confirming the date or suggesting another. If you have any particular access requirements, please let us know so that we can ensure we meet them as fully as possible e.g. wheelchair/mobility access; magnification equipment.
  • All research visits will be facilitated and supervised by the curator or a member of UCL Museums staff.
  • Please feel free to bring study materials and laptops, but leave food and drink (including bottled water), pens and chewing gum away from the room. Only pencils may be used.
  • On your first visit you will be asked to complete a registration form.
  • At the start of your visit you will be directed on how to handle the objects.  Please remember that you will be handling original, historically significant objects and that these should be treated with great care.
  • You may take your own photographs of the objects for non-commercial research purposes. We will ask you to fill in a form to register this. Photography orders for publication and commercial use must be made via the Galton Collection.

Science Collection research

Many scientific discoveries and engineering innovations have been made at UCL and these important collections demonstrate the enormous contribution UCL has made to the advancement of science.  The Science Collections are an excellent resource for university groups outside UCL who wish to use the material for teaching practicals.
Enquiries from academics and researchers who wish to gain access to the collection for study of particular objects are also welcome.

In addition to the collections held by UCL Culture, there are other collections in the university.

The UCL Ethnography Collections

The UCL Ethnography Collections was created at in the 1940s by Darryl Forde, the first head of UCL Anthropology and was drawn from a number of different sources including The Wellcome Non-Medical Collection, The London Missionary Society, the British Museum, as well as a number of private donations and collections made during fieldwork. The collection comprises about 2000 objects and 3000 photographs representing cultures from all five continents, with particular strengths in Africa and Oceania. most of the objects have been produced in the 19th and 20th centuries with a small amount of paleolithic and neolithic, Pre-dynastic Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian collections. Today, the collection is a resource for teaching and every undergraduate and masters student in the anthropology department engage with the objects during their courses. We also host visiting researchers and artists and have loaned objects for exhibitions both across UCL, and beyond.

To explore the collection, click on this link to the searchable catalogue of the objects held by UCL Ethnographic Collections. Please note that some of the wording in the catalogues has come directly from historic documents and therefore may now appear outdated and even offensive. The historical value of seeing how objects were perceived at the time they became part of collections (or even before) is an important part of the object's history.  Visits by appointment only on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
For any inquiries please contact: Dr Haidy Geismar, Academic Curator,  Dr Ludovic Coupaye, Academic Curator, Delphine Mercier, Curator - Collection Management and care

The Institute of Archaeology

To explore the catalogue - click here.

The Institute of Archaeology houses fine teaching and reference collections. They include prehistoric ceramics and stone artefacts from many parts of the world as well as collections of Classical Greek and Roman ceramics. There are extensive collections of archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological material which act as a primary source for the identification of plant and animal remains. Collections of minerals and other materials form part of the teaching resource for the study of early technology. Western Asiatic material includes the famous Petrie collection of Palestininan artefacts excavated by Sir Flinders Petrie, and from Jericho, material excavated by the renowned Kathleen Kenyon. 

The A.G. Leventis Gallery of Cypriot and Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and temporary exhibitions are open to the public weekdays during term time between 9am and 5pm. Entry is free. The other collections are available by appointment.  To arrange a viewing of any other Archaeology Collection, send us an email.

The Institute of Archaeology Collections is based at 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY.  Contact the Collections Manager, Ian Carroll +44 (0)20 7679 2457

The Geology Collection

Learning with objects has been an integral part of geological study at UCL since the first half of the nineteenth century. Today, the collection includes not only rocks, minerals and fossils collected over the last 175 years, but also individual collections of historical importance. The highlights include the Johnston-Lavis Volcanological collection, the Planetary Science Collection (Regional Planetary Image Facility) and the internationally recognised Micropalaeontological collections.
The Rock Room is currently closed but will be re-housed following refurbishment of the Kathleen Lonsdale building at the end of 2017. Read more here.  For advice on how to access the collection whilst the Rock Room is closed - email us.

Share this: