Enquiries and Identification

Have you ever dug up something in your back garden, or seen an unusual object whilst out walking and thought:

“I wonder what that is?”

Maybe we can help.

The museum operates an enquiry and identification service. In the past, people have brought in all sorts of things, from fossils to modern animal bones, and from Victorian brooches to 2,000 year old coins.

As all of the members of the team are specialists in different fields, we may not be able to identify everything immediately. If this is the case, we can record the object in order to consult our colleagues and the museum library. Either way, we can hopefully let you know what it was that you found fairly quickly.

The Museum also hosts the Portable Antiquities Scheme, a voluntary scheme for recording archaeological objects found by metal detectorists and members of the public. It was established to promote the recording of chance archaeological discoveries (artefacts over 300 years old) and to broaden public awareness of the importance of such finds for understanding our past. For more information please see Portable Antiquities Scheme.

We also have a large collection (12,000+) of digital images of photographs of Buckinghamshire, organised by parish. Photocopies of these images can be provided for a small fee. There are copies of the photographs in folders in the museum, so visitors can see whether we have any pictures that interest them. These pictures are available in an online database.

The enquiry service relates to the objects in the Museum collections that are not on display. Like all museums, we have many more objects than we can display at any one time. The museum stores are based at Halton, just outside Aylesbury, and if you want to see any of our objects that are not currently displayed, a visit can be arranged by telephoning or writing to us at:

Collections Team, County Museum Technical Centre, Tring Road, Halton, Buckinghamshire, HP22 5PJ.