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About Coventry Collections

Coventry Archives

Coventry Archives opened in 2008 when the resources of Coventry Record Office and the local studies collection held at Central Library were brought together under one roof.

It houses a huge range of primary and secondary source material providing insights into the history of the City and its citizens from medieval times to the present day.

Our resources include:

·         original archive material created by Coventry City Council and its predecessor entities as well as records of local people and businesses

·         maps and plans

·         newspapers and journals

·         books and pamphlets concerning Coventry and Warwickshire

Whether you're researching for school or college projects, university dissertations, family history, the history of your house or just want to know more about our fascinating City, Coventry Archives & Research Centre is an invaluable free resource and an essential destination.  Our friendly staff will be happy to help you unlock our amazing resources

For more information about the range of material in our collections please see collections pages on The Herbert website.

Please note that this website gives you the opportunity to search the computerised archive catalogue.  Archive catalogues can be complex to search and we strongly recommend that you read the tips and advice given to make the most of your searching.

To search for books please refer to the library catalogue

Parts of the collections are not indexed on computer.  If you cannot find what you are looking for contact us:


Telephone: 024 7623 7583.

Coventry Transport Museum

Coventry Transport Museum holds one of the world’s largest collections of British road transport items. The collection has Designated status and is internationally important. The transport collection includes around 250 cars, commercial vehicles and buses; 100 motorcycles; over 350 cycles; and a vast collection of archive and ephemera items. This unique collection is known throughout the world for its range and depth focusing on Coventry’s role in British transport heritage.

The collection can be broadly divided into two areas:

Road Transport Collections

Motor cars, commercial vehicles, cycles, motorcycles, signs, engines, display material, accessories and other related material.

Archive Collections

Books, manuals, magazines, photographs, documents, films, videos, public relations pamphlets etc. The more technical based items are held at the transport museum and the more generic and company related items are held at the Coventry Archives & Research Centre.

If you have a question about Coventry Transport Museum’s collections, please contact us on the email address below:

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

The extensive collections at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum cover the history of the City; the natural world; and local, national and international art.

There are four main collections:


This collection consists of objects excavated in the Coventry area. The strength of the collection lies in medieval finds, reflecting the importance of the city in the medieval period. The collection also includes Roman items from the Lunt Roman Fort, Anglo-Saxon finds from Baginton, some Iron Age objects, a few Paleolithic and Neolithic items and some post-medieval finds.

Social and Industrial History

The social and industrial history collection tells the story of people who lived or worked in Coventry over the last 400 years. Highlights include ribbon weaving, costume, toys and dolls, civilian life in the First and Second World Wars and watchmaking. The collection ranges from tiny watch parts to a 5 metre high ribbon weaving loom and from a 17th century hat to a 21st century Slipknot T-shirt.

Natural Sciences

The natural sciences collection covers the breadth of the natural world excepting botany - from birds and mammals to rocks, minerals and fossils, shells, eggs, nests and galls. While the collection includes exotic species it focuses on specimens from Coventry and Warwickshire. The bulk of the estimated 180,000 specimens is insects, including beetles, moths and butterflies.

Visual Arts

This collection includes paintings, drawings, prints, textiles, sculptures, ceramics, and works in new media. The key collections are works of art on the themes of British Life and Landscape and Peace and Reconciliation, local topographical views, work by local artists, Graham Sutherland’s studies for the tapestry in Coventry Cathedral and paintings of Lady Godiva

If you want to look at images of our oil paintings, please visit the Art Uk website

If you have a question about the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum’s collections, please contact us on the email address below:

Search the collections