Science and Society Picture Library

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We provide transparencies, prints and digital images on loan to our clients for reproduction. A small service fee is charged for the loan of the images. If we cannot currently provide the image you require, you can commission one of our photographers to take photographs of any item in our collections. A small fee is charged for this service. You can order prints of our images for personal use or as gifts. A list of our prices is available here. If you wish to order a print contact one of our researchers. If you are looking for a unique location for filming or photography, our filming advisor can arrange for you to view a wide variety of locations in the Science Museum. For further information, or to discuss your requirements, contact one of our researchers.

Venue Type:

Library, Archive

Opening hours

Members of the public are welcome, but please call in advance to book an appointment.

Admission charges


BTF Collection: Over 10,000 photographs taken by the British Transport Films Unit which document life and work in Britain from the mid - 1940s to the 1960s. Daily Herald Collection: Photographs documenting every aspect of life as reflected in the work of some of Britain's finest news photographers. ILN Collection: A subject index to all the pictures relating to science, industry, technology and transport which appeared in the Illustrated London News in the nineteenth century. Kodak Collection: The history of photography and film recorded through a unique collection of cameras and other objects and over 10,000 historic photographs illustrating a huge range of subjects. Manchester Daily Express Collection: Over 200,000 pictures from the 1970s and 1980s ,including large collections of personalities, sport and fashion. NMPFT Collection: The history of both art and popular photography from its beginnings in the 1830s to the present day, including: * Photographs by Lewis Carroll and Julia Margaret Cameron * Tony Ray-Jones' photographs of English and American life in the late 1960s and early 1970s * Francis Bedford's photographs of rural England and Wales in the 19th century * Advertising photography from the 1930s to the 1950s * The motor industry in Germany in the 1930s documented by Zoltan Glass. NRM Photographic Collection: Photographs documenting the history of Britain's railways, including the photographic archives of British Rail, the individual companies that preceded it and many of Britain's most significant railway photographers. NRM Poster Collection: Railway posters by some of Britain's leading graphic artists commissioned by British Rail and the pre-World War II railway companies to advertise destinations both within Britain and abroad. Wellcome Collection: Objects related to the history of medicine collected from all over the world by the pharmaceutical entrepreneur, Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936).

Collection details

Archives, Aviation, Costume and Textiles, Inland Waterways, Industry, Land Transport, Maritime, Medicine, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History, Sport

Key artists and exhibits

  • British Transport Films Unit
  • Illustrated London News
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Julia Margaret Cameron
  • Tony Ray-Jones
  • Francis Bedford
  • Zoltan Glass
  • Sir Henry Wellcome

Science and Society Picture Library
The Science Museum
Exhibition Road
Greater London




0207 942 4400


0207 942 4401

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.