Visit The Brunel Institute

The Brunel Institute is one of the few academic archives in the world to offer “access on demand”. This means that anyone with an interest in maritime history, the SS Great Britain or Isambard Kingdom Brunel can view the collections.

Institute staff and volunteers are available to advise and guide visitors. Whether you are writing an academic paper or researching family members who travelled on the SS Great Britain, or would just like to see a letter or drawing in Brunel’s hand, the Institute has something to delight you.

Please note, whilst we do accept donations to the Brunel Institute, we request that you get in contact with us before sending anything. Contact our Curator in advance online here


The Brunel Institute is open Wednesday to Friday by appointment for readers or researchers between 10.30am and 4.30pm. Please book in with us at least two weeks in advance, please fill in this form to get in touch about visiting. Access to the Brunel Institute is free of charge.

To view the collection (excluding Archive in Five or Conservation in Action) or to use the library you will need to bring a form of identification which is less than three months old and shows your current address. This could be a driving license or utility bill (but not a mobile phone bill).

Identification is not required for sessions such as Archive in Five or Conservation in Action.

Easter opening hours:

Please note that the Brunel Institute will be closed on 29 March (Good Friday).

Contact the Curator

Please use this box to ask our Curators a question!