Museum & Special Collections

The University of Nottingham Museum


In preparation for the British Museum Spotlight tour  A Greek in Egypt – Finds from the Ancient Port of Naukratis on the River Nile - the Museum will be closed to allow for changeover from Monday 11 – Thursday 21 July inclusive, reopening to the public on Friday 22 July. 

Please note: the University of Nottingham Museum will be closed from Tuesday 1 September to Friday 4 September (inclusive) for building works. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Further enquiries can be directed to Clare Pickersgill (Museum Keeper) via

The University of Nottingham Museum has a collection of archaeological artefacts from Nottinghamshire and the wider East Midlands (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire). The strength of these collections can be found in their original everyday use which introduces us to everyday life over a very wide period of time. This is open to the public all year round.

Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic - The Museum contains a wide range of regional lithic artefacts including many different axe types. The collections enable topics of human origins and development, lithic technology and recycling (earlier tools showing evidence of reuse in later periods) to be examined.

Bronze Age – The collection includes metalwork, most notably from Attenborough, and pottery.

Iron Age – The Museum holds a local type series of pottery fabrics and the pottery from Dragonby. It also includes coin flan moulds, dating from the 1st c AD, from Old Sleaford and material from the saltern site at Ingoldmells.

Roman - There is a wide variety of artefacts from different Roman sites including the small town of Margidunum and the cemetery at Ancaster.  

Anglo Saxon – The collection contains metalwork from Broughton Lodge and pottery from Kingston on Soar and Netherfield.

Medieval - Building materials and pottery as well as a variety of everyday objects from this period can be found in the Museum. Post medieval pottery from the Nottingham caves has contributed to a type and fabric series of medieval and post medieval pottery. The Museum also holds the material from the medieval site of Keighton, located on University Park Campus, that was possibly a ‘service centre’ for Lenton Priory producing cooking pots and tiles.

Post Medieval – Collections include regionally produced pottery, including early examples of Nottingham Salt Stoneware, glass and tradesmen’s tokens from the Nottingham Caves.

Numismatic Collections – There are c. 2750 items with coins dating from the Iron Age (including different Celtic tribes) to the 20th century (Victorian period).  The majority of the collections is Roman including two coin hoards from Calverton and Besthorpe.

Artefacts from other countries - There is a small quantity of material from other countries including Early Iron Age brooches and an Etruscan urn from Italy, pottery from Cyprus, jewellery and pottery from Egypt and Greek and Roman coins.

For more information about the Museum please visit our venues page by clicking here or for research, please see the Department of Archaeology website.

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The Felix Oswald Samian Project

Felix Oswald, an early pioneer of Roman pottery studies in Britain, established a collection of samian ware from his excavations at Margidunum (Nottinghamshire) and also acquired a substantial collection from the French antiquarian Albert-Edward Plicque. The bulk of Oswald's collection was donated to the University of Nottingham (the remainder to the University of Durham) and the collection constitutes a major resource for Roman pottery studies.

Click here to access the database

The Portable Antiquities Scheme

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is a DCMS-funded project to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. Every year many thousands of objects are discovered, many of these by metal-detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work.

The scheme's database holds records of more than 1.1 million artefacts and coins found by the public. Records are accessible to the public at These records are a hugely important resource for researchers and are helping to fill gaps in our knowledge of the past.

The local representative of the PAS is Alastair Willis, the Finds Liaison Officer for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. He can help identify your objects and is keen to record objects you have found that are over 300 years old. Alastair will be working at The University of Nottingham Museum on the third Tuesday of each month. If you wish to bring in large numbers of objects for him to see, please make an appointment in advance by calling 01332 641 903 or emailing If you only have single or small numbers of objects feel free to drop in to the Museum between 11 am and 4 pm.


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Part of Libraries and Research and Learning Resources at The University of Nottingham. Anyone can view our printed, manuscript and archive collections at King's Meadow Campus.

The Weston Gallery at Lakeside hosts visiting exhibitions of national and regional historical interest from the collection. For more information see the venue page here.


University of Nottingham Art Collection

The University of Nottingham art collection consists of some 651 items covering a broad range of subjects and media acquired through purchase, gift and bequest. The works are displayed at locations across the 4 main campuses at Nottingham in academic schools, halls of residence and principle administration buildings.

Oil paintings are documented online on the BBC website here.

Enquiries for information, reproductions and access may be made via the Djanogly Gallery tel: 0115 951 3189

Image: "Mehndi" 2004 colour photograph by Hetain Patel.

Mehndi by Hetain Patel