Museum of Childhood Open daily 10.00 to 17.45 Admission free Menu

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.

To find out more about our former exhibitions Click here .

To discover more information about the Museum, visit Our History.

Access to the archives is by prior appointment only, during usual office hours. If you wish to visit the archive, please email

Researchers will be asked to register, and to provide two forms of identification.

View the conditions of access

Download Conditions of access (78 KB, .pdf)

Download Researcher registration form (102 KB, .pdf

Visit the Archive Catalogues 

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.

Here you will find information on British Toy Manufacturing, including Palitoy, Abbott Toys and Tri-ang, as well as our Archive of Children’s Clothing, the Donne Buck Archive of Playgrounds and a wealth of Childhood Memories.

Visit the catalogues 



V&A Museum of Childhood
Bethnal Green

The Museum is open daily from 10.00 to 17.45 in Bethnal Green, London.

Visit us

Exhibition - ABC Photography

11 February - 4 June 2017 The alphabet is reinvented in this display of critically acclaimed photographers exploring new notions of the age-old teaching tool for children - the alphabet book.

View the exhibition

- From the ‘Nichol’ to the Boundary

Thursday 25 May. Explore the rich history of east London in this evening talk and discussion around the themes raised in Searching For Ghosts.

Find out about activities

V&A Museum of Childhood collections

Discover the national collection of Childhood related objects, from ideas to design, toys to schoolbooks. All Museum of Childhood Objects