You will need to make an appointment if you wish to come and view our collections. The Study Room can be very busy, particularly during University term time, so try to book at least two weeks in advance to make sure the date you want is available. (We’ll fit you in sooner than that if we can!)
You are welcome to book multiple visits if there is a lot of material you would like to see.
Appointments are available Mon – Fri, 10:30am to 12:30pm and 2:30pm to 4:30pm.
(MoDA is closed on weekends, Bank Holidays, and during the Christmas and New Year period).
You will probably find it helpful to look at our online collections before arranging your visit to get an idea of what the collection contains.
What information do you need from me before an appointment?
We aim to provide a personalised and flexible approach. We ask you to let us know what type of material you would like to see in advance of your visit, so we can find the right things for you.
Please tell us about any particular interests you have in the collections – for example, are you researching a particular period, or perhaps you want to redecorate in a 1950s style, or maybe you are a designer looking for inspiring geometric patterns? We will then do our best to find the right material based on the information provided.
At the beginning of your appointment, a member of staff will talk you through the selected material. This is just a starting selection, and we are happy for you to request other items once you are here, subject to availability. If you are unable to see everything you would like to during your appointment, you can of course book to come back at another time to continue your research.
What can I do when I am in the Study Room?
- Take notes – either on paper or on a laptop (no pens please!)
- Draw – using pencils or coloured pencils only
- Photograph objects
You can’t eat or drink in the Study Room, but you are welcome to use our Reception area if you need a quick drink or something to eat during your appointment. You must leave coats and bags in our reception area.
There is not much space in our Study Room, and some of the objects in our collections (wallpaper and textile samples) are quite large. If you would like to bring friends with you please mention this when you are booking your appointment. We can then advise you as to what is practical.
What sort of material can I look at?
You are welcome to look at any object in our collection. We have many more items in our collection than are visible on the website, so please discuss your interests with a member of staff.
If we are unable to show you an item it will be for one of the following reasons:
- The condition of the object – it is too fragile for handling or is currently undergoing conservation work.
- The object is on loan or is being prepared to go on loan and is therefore unavailable to Study Room visitors.
- We are unable to access the object – for example if it is in a particularly heavy box, or is on a high shelf. If we know in advance that you want to see an object like this, we can arrange to retrieve it for you. However, if you request a difficult-to-access object when you are here, we may not always be able to get it out for you.
How should I handle objects in MoDA’s Collections?
We ask visitors to handle objects from our collection in a particular way to avoid the risk of damage. The objects in our collection are fragile, and it is an important part of our role as a museum to protect the collections to make sure that they are available for future generations. There are specific guidelines in place depending on the type of material you would like to see, but some general rules apply:
- We ask that visitors use pencils only for taking notes, not pens
- 2D items may need to remain in their protective sleeves (which are transparent)
- You’ll be asked to wear gloves if you are allowed to handle museum objects
- Take care not to lean on objects
Can I photograph what I look at?
You will need to record the Object Number of every object that you photograph during your visit. You will also need to agree to assign us the copyright of the images you take to the museum. We are happy for you to use images you take of MoDA objects within your academic work.
If you want to use images of MoDA objects for any other purpose (e.g. for reproduction in a publication of any kind or on a website) you will need to get permission from the museum to do this. For more information see our Licensing page.