The Cottonian Research Room

The Cottonian Research Room

Home to The Cottonian Collection, our dedicated research area provides space for you to view our collections when they're not on display.

In addition to displaying the historic Cottonian Collection which visitors can view each morning (Tue-Sat) and all day on Sunday, it's also a research space available for public use during the afternoons (Tue-Sat).

From Friday 3 until Friday 17 September it will also be acting as a drop-in space where people can leave their messages of condolence for all those affected by the recent shootings in Keyham. If you'd like to come in, find out more from our Plymouth Together page.

Whether you are tracing your family history, working on a school project or researching a PhD thesis, we can make our collections available to you by appointment. There is no charge for this service, however we welcome donations in support of our work.

How it works

To make an appointment, you first need to identify what you want to see using our online archives catalogue and collections catalogue and then register with us for an appointment. We can provide up to 5 items per visit. Some items may not appear in the collections catalogue at present as they are awaiting publication clearance, please contact us (details below), if you have any queries.

While we do our best to make everything available, there are some items within the collection that are restricted for reasons of ethics, safety or fragility. Access to this restricted material, will require enhanced clearance from our curators or archivists. If your request includes restricted items we will be in contact to discuss your requirements.

If you’re booking into The Box’s Cottonian Research Room to view our collections, you can purchase a daily, weekly or annual licence in advance in order to take photographs of our items for your own personal use.
Please bring your e-receipt with you to your appointment.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Alternatively, call us on 01752 308880.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 1.30pm–4.30pm
Please read the guidelines below in advance of your visit.

More permanent galleries

Mammoth Gallery | Discover | The Box Plymouth


Naval Figureheads | The Box Plymouth


100 Journeys | The Box Plymouth

100 Journeys