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The Study Collections Centre (SCC) is the museum’s offsite storage facility which houses the majority of the museum’s collections. Approximately 95% of the Anthropology and Natural History collections are stored here, and 80% of the musical Instrument collections. 
The site is currently staffed by the Collections Management and Documentation teams, and a range of volunteers. Over the years we have endeavoured to improve the care, storage and documentation of the collections.
Since the SCC was acquired in the late 1960s, the level of storage has developed from a pile of objects on the floor to a well organised facility with the majority of objects stored using conservation-approved storage containers and techniques. 
The stored collections are very important as they provide material for temporary exhibitions and loans to other museums. They are frequently used by Museum staff and the public for study, research and in publications.
If you are interested in viewing objects at the SCC, please see our access to collections policy and procedure:
If you are interested in borrowing an object, please see our loans page and download the policy documents available there.
We occasionally run tours of the SCC - these will be advertised in our events pages.

Volunteers at the SCC

Best practice for the long-term conservation and care of museum objects has evolved over time and, like most museums, the Horniman is dealing with a legacy of the past. Keeping up with the day-to-day running of the SCC means that it can be difficult to deal with backlogs relating to storage and documentation.
Volunteers at the SCC assist with improving the storage and collections care, as well as making the collections more accessible for research and to the wider general public. Regular work undertaken by volunteers at the SCC includes:
  • Assisting with the rationalisation of the storage of the collections
  • Cleaning object record images for our collections database MIMSY
  • Assisting with documenting the collections
  • Retrieving and packing objects for Conservation, Exhibition, Loan or special projects
  • Packing and storing objects on return from exhibitions etc
If you are interested in volunteering for the museum, please visit our volunteering pages.