The V&A Museum of Childhood holds a range of archive collections relating to different aspects of childhood. These include a large amount of material from toy and children’s clothing manufacturers and from individuals involved in the toy industry, as well as collections relating to schools and education. The archives have been collected by the Museum over a number of years, and are currently in the process of being fully catalogued and made more accessible.
The type of material contained in the archive collections includes catalogues and other promotional and advertising material, designs and technical drawings, photographs and transparencies, correspondence, press cuttings, school work and school reports. The archive collections document the history of the British toy-making industry, of product design, manufacturing and advertising, as well as the history of education and of childhood more broadly.
Accessing the archives
The archives are located at the V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green. For more information on how to find the Museum, see Visit us.
Access to the archives is by prior appointment only, during usual office hours. If you wish to visit the archive, please contact the Archivist, Ieuan Hopkins on 020 8983 5216 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Researchers will be asked to register, and to provide two forms of identification.
Download the Conditions of access (78 KB, .pdf)
Download the Researcher registration form (102 KB, .pdf)
The archive collections at the Museum of Childhood are currently being fully catalogued. Summary lists are available from the Collections Team for those collections which do not yet have a full catalogue. Further information and catalogues will be added as they become available.
Archive collections relating to toy manufacturing
For more information about specific toy manufacturers, visit Toy manufacturers.
Archive collections relating to children's clothing
Other archive collections relating mostly to children's experiences of education