Science and industry museum

The Science and Industry Museum is currently closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak, but its collection, and the inspirational stories it tells, remain open to everyone.

As part of the Science Museum Group, the world’s leading group of science museums, it has over 325,000 objects in its extensive online collection that can all be explored from home.

Local history

The Science and Industry Museum is located in the heart of Manchester, in the historic district of Castlefield. The museum buildings themselves, as well as the objects they house, tell the story of over 250 years of innovations and ideas that began in the city and went on to change the world. Through the Objects and Stories pages, the secrets of the Manchester’s past are open for everyone to explore.

Enjoying the hustle and bustle of Ancoats might not be possible right now, but through the museum’s blog, readers can learn about the incredible transformation of this once-disreputable district, which transitioned from an unremarkable hamlet to the infamous beating heart of 1800’s industrial Manchester, before emerging as one of today’s most sought-after neighbourhoods.

Some of the Science and Industry Museum’s best-loved spaces are continuing to ignite curiosity online. Take a tour of our Textiles Gallery, which houses original working machinery from Manchester’s cotton mills. Stories from life in the mills, including the child-workers whose feet paced the factory floor in these tiny wooden clogs, can be found on the museum’s website. As can information about the history of the iconic Power Hall, one of the most beloved industrial heritage galleries in the country, and the museum’s ambitious plans for its future.


The clue’s in the name, but the Science and Industry Museum has a plethora of science-related objects and artefacts in its collection to explore. Through its online resources, visitors can also discover more about Manchester’s finest scientists and how the contributions they made helped to shape the world we know, including John Dalton, James Joule and Alan Turing.

The Science Museum Group’s science director, Roger Highfield, has also been writing a series of blog posts exploring the latest thinking around  coronavirus. Every week he focuses on a different topic, including what we can learn from previous pandemics, the scientists fighting the virus and the science behind lockdowns. 

The sun has been making an almost uninterrupted appearance in Manchester lately. Before its closure, the Science and Industry Museum was hosting an exhibition exploring the science behind earth’s closest star and the thousands of years of intrigue it has inspired. Luckily, the exhibition can still be enjoyed through these blogs and this video.


The Museum also offers support with learning and home schooling through its learning resources website, which hosts a range of games, videos and interactive activities. One of the most popular games among young players is Total Darkness, which challenges children to put their science skills to the test and restore power to their virtual town.

From building bubble blowers to periscopes or learning about anything from magnetism to eco living, there are loads of free resources to support a range of curriculum topics at home.

For advice on getting the most out of the Science Museum Group’s online collection from home, visit this blog.