Science Museum at Wroughton
|The Science Museum at Wroughton|
The unimposing entrance to the very large site.
|Location||Wroughton, near Swindon, Wiltshire, England|
|Science Museum Group|
The Science Museum took ownership of the 545 acre former RAF Wroughton airfield in 1979, to be used as a storage facility for the largest objects of the Science Museum. A collection of approximately 26,000 objects is currently kept in six of the hangars, from the first hovercraft to MRI scanners, and computers to (de-activated) nuclear missiles. The store is particularly notable for its extensive collection of vintage aircraft, road transport vehicles, agricultural machinery and industrial collections.
The object collections at Wroughton are not normally open to the public, however "research" visits to see specific objects in store can be booked by application.
The Wood Press
The largest object at Wroughton is thought to be the Wood Press, part of the last working printing press in Fleet Street. The press was acquired in 2001 and weighs 140 tonnes. It is the size of two small houses.
Science Museum Library and Archives
The site is also home to the Science Museum Library & Archives, which are open to the public by appointment on Fridays 10.00 - 17.00. Its holdings include rare books and first editions of original scientific, engineering and technology works from the last 500 years. The archive collections include the engineering drawings of Charles Babbage and Barnes Wallis as well as papers relating to Donald Campbell and Hooper's car building firm. The Library also has a large periodical collection, British patents from 1617 - 1992 and a trade literature collection. 
The Library & Archives has an online catalogue at http://imp-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?mode=Advanced&ct=AdvancedSearch&dscnt=2&fromLogin=true&dstmp=1375264414785&vid=ICL_VU1
Selected large objects at Wroughton
- Douglas DC3 aircraft.
- Ford Edsel motor car.
- Boeing 247 aircraft.
- Handley Page Gugnunc biplane.
- Lockheed Constellation aircraft.
Important works in the Library and Archives
- Charles Babbage's notebooks, engineering plans, certificates, social diary and letters.
- Barnes Wallis’s plans for the bouncing bomb.
- Pearson PLC engineering papers and photographs.
- Walt Patterson nuclear collection.
- Humphry Davy's letters.
- George Parker Bidder's papers.
- The New Cyclopaedia, or, Universal Dictionary of the Arts and Sciences. (Rees's Cyclopædia)
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