Loan boxes

Loan boxes contain both real and replica objects from the museum and archives collections.

Book a loan box

If you have any further questions, please include them when you email the enquiry form.


Find a list of loan boxes below:

Brent’s Gujarati Community

Audience: KS2

The aim of this loans box is to help children develop their knowledge and understanding of the history and experiences of Gujaratis migrating to Britain and particularly Brent.

This loans box was created by Subrang Arts and includes:

  • 31 pairs of Dandiya dancing sticks and a link to a video to learn a dance using them; female and male dance costumes; male dancer’s cap and saris to try on; hand clappers and metal cymbals to play; traditional embroidered wall hanging to handle and rolling pin and board to role play making chapatis.
  • Photos of a Gujarati wedding; a convenience store owned by a Gujarati person, four shops on Ealing Road, Neasden Temple and Wembley Central Mosque.
  • Pictures of alphabets used by Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat to compare.
  • 14 religious items relating to Hinduism and Islam to handle including a Kankavati, Arti thali and Purna-Kalasha used during Hindu ceremonies and a Sajjadat Salat, Tasbih and Qibla used during prayers by Muslims.

The learning resource in the loans box includes a reading comprehension about how and why Gujaratis migrated from Gujarat and a link to, and a transcript of an oral history interview with a person who migrated to Britain in the 1970s and four profiles of key members of the Gujarati community in Brent.

Learning resources

Brent’s Somali community

Audience: KS2
Ideal for: history, Black History Month, communities

A range of materials such as personal testimonies from Brent’s Somali community, objects from the nomadic Somali people, traditional Somali dress, photographs and maps help children to explore Somali traditional culture and the Somali community in Brent.

Sudbury 1950s-1960s

Audience: KS1 and KS2

Students learn about changes in Sudbury from 1950s-1980s using interviews from local residents.  The suitcase comes with objects, photos and a range of resources to help you deliver activities at your school exploring changes in toys, leisure, home life and how the area has changed.  This loans box would also be of interest to teachers in other parts of the borough.

Learning resources

Windrush Generation in Brent

Audience: KS1 and KS2

Brent Culture Service worked with elders from the Windrush Generation who settled in Brent to learn about their experiences and to find out which objects were popular in their homes in the 50s and 60s.

This loans box contains original shoes and 7" records, a full petticoat to try on, a framed 60s wedding photograph, a special doll that decorated bathroom tissues and glass ornaments. Photographs of a reconstructed West Indian Front Room, portraits of elders from the Windrush Generation in Brent and two specially commissioned poems by Malika Booker complete the box.

Learning resources

Homes from Brent’s Past (with Mary Seacole, 'home' and 'cultural identity' element)

Audience: KS1 and KS2

These original objects illustrate the development over time of household tasks such as cooking, washing and cleaning, focusing particularly on home life before electricity. The accompanying archive material provides examples of different houses and building styles in Brent.

Loans box hire also includes a replica Mary Seacole jacket to try on, a copy of Mary Seacole's book 'The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands' and a PowerPoint with audio clips on each slide to guide your class through learning about Mary Seacole and exploring ideas of 'home' and 'cultural identity'. Watch 'Mary Seacole: Coming Home' video.

Toys from Brent’s Past

Audience: KS1

The range of old-fashioned toys in this box represent the changing styles and fashions of toys from past times to the present day.  There are a large range of toys to play with. Encourages exploration of changing materials and comparisons between old and new. The accompanying archive material shows historical images of children at play in Brent.

Learning resources

Victorian Brent

Audience: KS2

The archive material in this loans box shows images of Brent in Victorian times. These original objects can be used in the classroom to help understand daily life and innovation in Victorian times, including exploring the themes of housework, fashion and the typical school day.

Brent in the Second World War 

Audience: KS2

This box contains original objects related to life on the home front during the Second World War, aiding the classroom teaching of themes such as rationing, air raids and evacuation. The accompanying archive material shows children evacuated from local schools, as well as bomb damage in the local area.