Looking after our collections

Working on our costume collection

Working on our costume collection


Once an item has officially entered the collection it is held in trust by us to look after for future generations. With more than 100,000 items in the collections not everything can be on display at once. This means that we also need storage facilities to care for the collections in proper conditions. They need to be kept secure and free from damage, in stable conditions.  Damage can be caused by poor handling, too much light, or changes in temperature and humidity. All these have to be controlled.



The collections are used for exhibitions in our own nine venues, for lending to other museums in the UK and abroad and for research and publication.



We have a small team of curators who look after the collections and interpret them for users. We do not have conservation staff who can do specialist repairs if there are any problems with the condition of items. When this work is needed, we send items to external specialists to be conserved.




If you have an item requiring conservation we can give you advice on where to get help. Contact the Collections Development Team Leader.  Contact details below.


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