About the Collections

Workshop apprentice at the National Motor Museum working on a car engine
A showcase containing historic motoring objects at the National Motor Museum
A man in a photographic studio taking a photograph of a historic toy car
A group of students looking at objects in the National Motor Museum Collections Centre
National Motor Museum panorama

Please be aware that due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, the Collections Centre has limited access to visitors, with staff continuing to work from home and onsite. If you have an item you would like to donate to the collections please contact us using our online form


Our Collections have been designated by Arts Council England as being of national and international importance. As an Accredited Museum, we adhere to nationally agreed standards that ensure we operate as a sustainable, focused and trusted organisation.

The National Motor Museum has a responsibility to care for its Collections to ensure they are preserved for future generations to enjoy. The Collections Team and the enthusiastic volunteers who work alongside them undertake specialist tasks on all kinds of items.

Our Collections include:

Historic motoring objects including a John Bull tin, a speedometer, a Shell oil funnel and an Austin service book

•  280 vehicles (cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles)
•  50,000 objects
•  1.4 million photographic images
•  300,000 archive items
•  26,000 film, video and audio recordings
•  310,000 items in the Reference Library

Our Vehicle and Object Collections represent motoring on the roads of Great Britain. Other collections have worldwide subject coverage. All relate to the motorcar, its development and social context. The Shell Heritage Art Collection and the Caravan and Motorhome Club Collection are also hosted at the National Motor Museum.

Access

Many of the vehicles and associated motoring items can be seen on display in the National Motor Museum. Other Collections are housed in the Collections Centre; these are available to the public through the Enquiry and Research Service, or appointments with the curatorial staff. We also run a commercial Motor Picture Library and Film and Video Library.

Collections Development

A museum curator carrying out the conservation of cartoon printOur Collections cover all aspects of motoring. Most items at the National Motor Museum are owned by the Trust. Some items are on loan from other collectors or museums, and some from Lord Montagu. The Collections are growing all the time. In common with other museums, we have a Collections Development Policy which defines our areas of interest and helps guide our decisions about what we acquire.

Many of the wonderful items in our Collections have been kindly donated. If you would like to offer an item to the National Motor Museum Trust please contact us.

If you would like a copy of any of our images, please visit our dedicated Motoring Picture Library website