Welcome to Brent Museum and Archives services for schools
Teachers and children engage with our collections through visits to Brent Museum, artefact handling workshops at Brent Museum or at your school, visits to our temporary exhibitions and loans boxes of artefacts and archival material.
Our online catalogue enables you to access images of Brent and to find out more about our collections generally. Why not enter the names of streets round your school and see what old images we hold of those places?
Class visits to Brent Museum are usually around 30 minutes long and are free. There is a fun introductory animation of Brent’s history near the B letter in the Museum.
You can watch the Brent's History video in class before your visit to give your pupils more time looking at the displays during their visit.
Free interactive downloadable apps for i-pads (require iOS 6.0 or later):
Brent High Streets 1870–1914 - Explore historic photos of high streets in the borough of Brent.
Brent Colossus - Play our game to decipher a secret message transmitted by Colossus.
The Post Office Research Station in Dollis Hill employed engineers carrying out top-secret work constructing and testing modules of the Colossus machine – the world’s first programmable electronic computer. Assembled at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, Colossus deciphered enemy radio signals and helped the Allies to win the WW2.
Metroland Guidebook - Explore the world of railways in 1920s London. This App
features an original guidebook to London’s ‘Metro-land’ from Brent Museum & Archives’ historic collections.
Toilets: There are two male and two female toilets and a disabled toilet on each floor. These are opposite the museum. Please ensure that an adult accompanies them to the toilets and that children know that they must not leave the group in the museum without a teacher/adult helper agreeing.
Please remind children to keep noise to a minimum as the building is open plan and sound travels easily.
Workshops are usually 60 minutes long. You can find out more about Brent Museum and our workshops by reading our school brochure.
If you would like to make a booking or if you have any questions do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and refer to Jana Cameron, Learning Officer, Brent Museum and Archives. My normal working days are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Museum is open seven days a week and visits to the Museum and Exhibition Space are free. The galleries move chronologically and cover Brent’s past from prehistoric times to the modern day. Over 400 items can be viewed over six sections of the museum. We encourage teachers to visit the Museum before they come with their class if possible. The Learning Officer is very happy to meet teachers, show them round the museum and talk about different workshops and services. Class visits usually last around 30 minutes.
The first section particularly supports studies in: Romans, Saxons and Homes in the Past. This section explores Brent’s earliest times, with an engaging animation and objects such as pilgrim badges, coins and Roman pottery on display. It then moves to a comparison of the lives of people who lived in railway cottages in the early 19th century and those of more wealthy Brent residents.
The second section particularly supports studies in: Ancient Egypt and comparisons of ‘then and now’. This section highlights famous local collector and philanthropist, Titus Barham, on whose collection the museum was founded. On display are an Egyptian makeup set, Cuneiform tablet and a suit of armour dating back to the English Civil War. There is also a wonderful opportunity to compare then and now using photographs of Brent’s busy high streets one hundred years ago. Miss Harrold ran Langman’s Drapers shop. Children can open the drawers to find out what kind of items would have been available to buy in the shop.
In our third section we particularly support studies in: developments in transport and industry. This section explores Metroland, the name given to the new residential areas of North-West London in 1920s/1930s after the Metropolitan line was extended. Linked to the improvements in transport, there was a massive growth in industry in the 1920/1930s in Brent. In this section, you can find images, information and objects relating to the key industries that opened factories in Brent, such as McVities and Price, Heinz and Smith’s clocks.
The fourth section particularly supports studies in the First and Second World Wars as well as key local events such as the British Empire Exhibition and three Olympic Games. Children explore how the dangers of war were brought to Brent, how Brent’s industries and workers played an important role in both world wars and why part of the Post Office Research Station in Dollis Hill had a secret code name. Using listening posts, children can listen to local people’s memories of the Second World War.
In the fifth section children explore the people and places that have helped to shape Brent’s cultural scene such as pioneer Jayaben Desai who led a ground-breaking strike over the right to be represented by a union in 1976.
Sixth section: Community panels
Visitors explore stories from some of the many communities that have moved to Brent: Irish, Jewish, Caribbean, Gujarat and Indian and Somali.