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Museums Collections

Collections research and enquiries

Glasgow Museums collection is a Recognised Collection of National Significance to Scotland. Our extensive collection provides invaluable information for people wishing to undertake research in Art and Design, Human History, Natural History or Transport and Technology.

The research facilities are open to all, from school children undertaking assignments through to postgraduate students completing dissertations to professional researchers or members of the public who have an interest in our collection.

Research Charter

Everyone is welcome to study objects from our collection. However, there may be some restrictions to accessing objects for reasons of health and safely or cultural sensitivity. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult. Access to the collection is free. We welcome enquiries relating to the collection but please be aware that our resources are limited and a charge may need to be levied if our staff need to spend a considerable amount of time researching your enquiry. We also have a reference library of books relating to our collection and museum archive materials which are available for use by the public.

Preparing for your visit to Glasgow Museums Resource Centre

We encourage you to prepare for your visit to Glasgow Museums Resource Centre by reading the Code of Practice for using Glasgow Museums Research Facilities.

How do I know what to ask for?

The Collections Navigator website provides an overview of the collection and allows users to identify the collection areas that they are interested in.

How do I arrange to see museum objects?

All material needs to be ordered in advance. Requests to view museum objects are made through the Collections Research Assistant at the contact details below. Viewing requests can be made online, by telephone or by post. Object viewing requests must be made at least two weeks in advance. The Collections Research Assistant will confirm your booking at least one week in advance of your proposed visit and reserve a space for you in the Research Room.

If the objects you are interested in can only be studied in store we will make arrangements for a store visit. If the objects requested are restricted or need special viewing arrangements you will be informed accordingly. It may take longer to organise access for this type of material and it may be necessary to suggest alternative viewing dates. Many museum objects have ‘object files’ which contain information relating to the object. You may request to see these, and they will be supplied with the museum objects you wish to see.

What do I do when I get to GMRC?

On entering the building you will be asked to sign the fire register at the reception desk and you will be issued with a visitor pass. You may be asked to wash your hands and to deposit your coats and bags in the lockers provided. You will then be directed to the Research Room or Library. On the first day of each period of study you will need to register as a user and sign the Code of Practice for using Glasgow Museums Research Materials.

If you wish to draw or photograph material you will be asked to sign a separate permission form.

Before being issued with the requested material, the duty invigilator will give you any special handling instructions. You will then be asked to sign an issue receipt. The material will then be taken to your desk and you are free to view or study it in line with the Code of Practice.

When you have finished with the material you should inform the duty invigilator, who will check it against the issue receipt. You are recommended to wash your hands after handling museum objects.

Questions about objects in your own possession

We are engaged in a number of large projects which limits our capacity to deal with enquiries about objects which are not part of our museum collection.

If you do have an enquiry:

Please do not send objects through the post, or take objects to any Glasgow Museums' venue. Glasgow Museums will not accept these and is not responsible for the care, condition or return of unsolicited items. We will dispose of unsolicited items.

Instead, please send a description of the item, and if possible an image (file size less than 5 mega bites) to the following email address:

Email: navigator@glasgowlife.org.uk
Or call: 0141 276 9300

Please note: if you are seeking a financial valuation for an object you own we would recommend that you seek assistance from a commercial auction house or antiques dealer as Glasgow Museums is not able to provide valuations.

if you think you have found something of archaeological significance in Scotland, you are obliged by law to report it to Treasure Trove.   Helpful advice and assistance can be found at Treasure Trove in Scotland website: https://treasuretrovescotland.co.uk/

Further information:

Collections Research Assistant
Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
200 Woodhead Road
Glasgow G53 7NN

Opening hours:

10am to 4pm, Tuesday – Thursday
11am to 4pm, Friday