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.

To learn about the Museum’s involvement in the British Toy Making Project Click here.

Access to the archives is by prior appointment only, usually every two weeks during normal office hours on Fridays. If you wish to visit the archive, please email with details of your research.

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

Download Conditions of Access (78 KB, .pdf)

Download Researcher Registration Form (102 KB, .pdf)



Visit the Archive Catalogues 

The archive collections at the V & A Museum of Childhood are currently being fully catalogued. The most up to date information on the archive collection can be found here where 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 alongside archives relating to Toy Distribution as well as  our archive of Children’s Clothing, the Donne Buck Archive of Playgrounds and a wealth of Childhood Memories. Many of these are also available in summary catalogues, which are no longer updated.

View Summary 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 - Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today

30 March – 2 September 2018. The 20th century’s most iconic and influential Nordic designs for children, from BRIO to LEGO, Marimekko and the Moomins have been brought together for the first time in this stunning new exhibition.

View the exhibition

Watch Talk Think Film Series

We are the Best (2013) by Lukas Moodysson

Thursdays 24 May. Inspired by the Century of the Child exhibition, this series of Nordic films explores the experience of childhood.

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