Our archives are all free to access for all researchers. Whether you are interested in the archaeology of your local area or a student at a university studying archaeology, these collections are open to you to research. We hold over 20,000 boxes from over 3,000 sites so there is plenty to potentially look at! Our collections consist of:

  • Bulk archaeological finds such as pottery, animal bone, ceramic building material.
  • Small finds which are objects designated as important during the excavation such as coins or brooches.
  • Environmental remains such as seeds recovered from excavations.
  • Documentary archives which comprise of the primary records from excavations.

As we have only opened recently and are moving collections to the store from all over the country, we are still in the process of cataloguing the collection and they are not ready to put online.

However, we store most archives from recent and historic excavations within Northamptonshire so if you are looking for a certain site or specific object that you think we may store then please get in touch.

Access for research

Due to the security of the collections and staff capacity, we operate under a booking system. Our core opening hours for research are 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday (bank holidays excepted). 

We have a research room on-site that can be used to access archives.

For academic research requests, we ask that students and academics provide us an outline project design stating the purpose of their research, the material they wish to access and any destructive and non-destructive analysis that they wish to carry out.

Please email arc@northnorthants.gov.uk if you’d like to visit us for research outlining the collections you may be interested in accessing. We can then discuss booking a date for your visit.

We also recommend contacting the Northamptonshire Historic Environment Record to help identify sites and assemblages that may be of further use for your research.

We reserve the right to decline a request for access if it is deemed unsuitable.


We can provide loans to museums and other heritage organisations for display purposes. If you are interested in loaning our collections for these purposes.We can loan to research institutions such as universities or professional archaeological companies for projects where you are unable to carry out the analysis in our facility.

For loans, please email arc@northnorthants.gov.uk to discuss a potential loan with our curators.