School Library Service - Artefacts Collection

Our artefact collection gives children of all ages and abilities the opportunity to see, touch and use objects from a period of history, a religion or culture that is outside their experience.

The loan collection was established in 1995 and comprises over 300 boxes, covering 50 subjects. We monitor changes in the curriculum and respond to demand where possible. Since 2010, the collection has expanded to include Space (KS2), Recycling around the World, Australia and Aborigines, and Seaside. More recent additions, in 2014, include WW1 and Prehistory.

Each box contains on average 10 items. They come carefully packed in a sturdy box and can be delivered and returned via our van service. Most items are replicas of objects; some (e.g. African musical instruments) are original. All include a range of 3D forms and a list of content notes, together with various guidance notes.

The artefact service is used by primary, special and secondary schools in and outside the county, as a stimulus for classroom discussion, research and creativity throughout the curriculum.

We loved this box (World War Two). Thank you. The documents were particularly useful.
P Bourne, Notley Green Primary School, Braintree

Learning from Artefacts

We’re working with the Essex Record Office (ERO) to offer lively workshops introducing children to our fantastic range of artefacts. Download our flyer here.


You can view the full collection below, and use our loan request form to reserve a box.

Africa Collection

Ancient Egypt Collection

Ancient Greece Collection

Anglo Saxons Collection

Australia and Aborigines Collection

Australian Aborigines Collection

Aztecs and Mayans Collection

Britain since 1900 Collection

Buddhism Collection

Chembakolli Collection

China Collection

Chinese Dragon Collection

Chinese New Year Collection

Christianity Collection

East Africa Collection

Electricity Kit Collection

Florence Nightingale Collection

Great Fire of London Collection

Hinduism Collection

Human Body Collection

India Collection

Islam Collection

Judaism Collection

Kenya Collection

Masks Collection

Medieval History Collection

Mexico Collection

Moving Toys Collection

Musical Instruments around the World Collection

Native Americans Collection

North Africa Collection

Percussion (KS1) Collection

Percussion Early Years Collection

Prehistory Collection

Recycling around the World Collection

Romans Collection

Saxons and Vikings Collection

Seaside Old and New Collection

Sikhism Collection

Southern Africa Collection

Space (KS2 cross-curricular) Collection

Toys through the Ages Collection

Tudors Collection

Victorian Household Collection

Victorian Toys (KS1 & KS2) Collection

Victorian Toys (KS1) Collection

Vikings Collection

West Africa Collection

World War I Collection

World War II Collection