Selected museums, archives and special collections in Westminster
Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum
A visit to the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum takes you back to
the birthplace of penicillin reconstructed to show it as it was in 1928
when a chance observation led to the development of an antibiotic that
changed the world.
Benjamin Franklin House
In the heart of London, just steps from Trafalgar Square, is Benjamin
Franklin House, the world's only remaining Franklin home, now open to
the public as a dynamic museum and educational facility.
BDA Dental Museum
The BDA Dental Museum tells the fascinating story of how people have
– or haven’t – looked after their teeth in the past. From 19th Century
dental floss to toothache cures, clockwork drills to toothpaste adverts,
there is more to discover than you might imagine.
British Optical Association Museum (The)
The British Optical Association Museum, housed at the College of
Optometrists in Craven Street, is the world’s oldest specialist collection
concerning the history of opticians, eye-care and vision aids. Guided
tours of its surprisingly varied collections, incorporating fine and
decorative art as well as spectacles, lenses and scientific testing
apparatus, are offered to the general public by prior appointment.
City of Westminster Archives Centre – local family history, theatre
collection and more
The City of Westminster Archives Centre holds extensive collections
relating to local history and also thousands of playbills and theatre
programmes relating to the West End and other London theatres. The
collection includes photographs of theatres and performers, scrapbooks
of cuttings and a comprehensive supporting reference collection.
Handel House Museum
Handel House Museum was home to the composer George Frideric
Handel from 1723 until his death in 1759. It is a finely restored Georgian
house and provides an insight into Handel’s life and music, as well as
regular live music and exhibitions.
Institution of Civil Engineers (The)
The Institution of Civil Engineers, founded in 1818, is the oldest
professional engineering Institution in the world. The bulk of the
Archives comprises documentary material relating to the ICE, and past
members, as well as various other items and collections relating to the
civil engineering profession in general.
London Transport Museum
Lively exhibitions explore transport and the growth of modern London,
its culture and society, from 1800. There are lots of activities for
children, and don’t miss the new world city gallery, Beck map and iconic
Museum of Soho
A virtual museum preserving and serving Soho.
The Parliamentary Archives holds the historic records of the House of
Lords and House of Commons dating back to 1497, and makes them
available via a public search room and enquiry service.
Royal Academy of Music Museum
The museum and research centre is free of charge and opens 7 days a
week. The galleries include instruments, manuscripts, images and other
artefacts, and regularly host lecture-recitals, seminars, workshops,
permanent and temporary exhibitions. Many of these events draw on
items from the Academy’s collections. On the ground floor, the
Academy Chimes shop has a wide range of printed music, books and
accessories, as well as Academy-themed gifts.
RIBA British Architectural Library (The)
The RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection is one of
the leading collections of photographs of architecture and design,
holding over 1.5 million images covering pre-history to the present day.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
The collections of the RCOG chart the development of women’s health
care over the past 500 years and include the world’s first obstetric
forceps, rare obstetrics and midwifery texts, and the personal,
professional and research papers of important clinicians. To view the
exhibition contact the Information Services department on 020 7772
6309 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Royal College of Surgeons of England
The Library and Archives at the Royal College of Surgeons of England
contain over 600 archive collections and 9500 rare books. Subjects
covered include anatomy, surgery, natural history, anthropology and
Library catalogue and our archive catalogue are available at
Royal Institution of Great Britain - The Michael Faraday Museum
The Royal Institution of Great Britain has been the home of scientific
research and communication for over 200 years. The collections include
the original apparatus (such as the first electric generator and first
miners’ safety lamp) and our museum displays highlights discoveries
made here by Michael Faraday, Humprhy Davy and others which have
played a key role in the development of the modern world. Entrance is
free and free interactive e-Guides are available at reception.
Royal Opera House Collections
Royal Opera House Collections record the history of the Royal Opera
House and its resident companies, and the previous theatres that have
stood on the Covent Garden site since 1732. There is a cafe and
restaurant in the Amphitheatre foyers and a terrace with outstanding
views of the Covent Garden Piazza, Westminster Cathedral, the London
Eye and many other London landmarks. Backstage tours bookable at
the Box Office.
Westminster Music Library
Founded in 1946, Westminster Music Library is the largest public music
library in the south of the UK, with thousands of books, music scores
and performance parts, vocal and orchestral sets and sheet music
available to borrow. The library now has a brand new Yamaha digital
piano which library members are free to use.
Just call 020 7641 1300 or email email@example.com to
book a session.
Westminster Reference Library
Arts and Design Collection and Exhibition Space
Westminster's Art and Design Collection, recognised as one of national
significance by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, is held on
the first and second floors of Westminster Reference Library. An
exhibition space is available to artists wishing to show their work.
To hire the space or for further information please contact Duart da
Silva-Sylwain by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. All
exhibitions are completely FREE to view.
Archives in London and the M25 – AIM25 provides access to descriptions of the contents of more
than one hundred archives in the London area, including collections relating to local history,
genealogy and the history of the capital. Please visit www.aim25.ac.uk for more information.