Abbatt Toys catalogue, about 1940, Paul and Marjorie Abbatt Ltd. Abbatt archive. Archive ref. ABBA-1-1-1-9-

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 Collections Manager, Catherine Howell on 020 8983 5214 or at

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)

Archive collections

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.

Detail of a Lines Bros. toy catalogue

Archive collections relating to toy manufacturing

See more details of the collections

For more information about specific toy manufacturers, visit Toy manufacturers.

Deatil of a children's clothing catalogue

Archive collections relating to children's clothing

See more details of the collections

Detail of a May Day programme

Archive collections relating to education and childhood

See more details of the collections




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Tel: +44 (0)20 8983 5200 | V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA