Artefact Loans

Do you want to bring history topics to life, inspire young scientists with unusual specimens, make a classroom display celebrating other cultures, investigate WWII using ration books and original newspaper articles or create a Victorian Laundry in the classroom?

Islington Education Artefacts library is a modern day cabinet of curiosities, an eccentric and eclectic collection of handling objects which has delivered inspirational loans to schools for nearly 30 years. Our bespoke artefact boxes can support all aspects of curricular and creative projects, bringing subjects to life and engaging learners of all abilities from EYFS to KS3 and beyond. Handling artefacts can develop empathy with people from the past and other cultures.

We have artefact resources for humanities, science, RE as well as a huge range of story props and toys to support literacy topics and creative play.

The artefact library evolves to support the curriculum. We have resources to support the recent changes to the history curriculum including Stone Age tools, replica Shang Dynasty urns, Mayan pottery and Ancient Islamic star gazing tools. We have many regular suppliers including historical re-enactment traders who make high quality replicas based on original techniques and archaeological finds – our Tudor pottery, Saxon pots, Viking buckets and Roman wax tablets come from these specialist sources.

The collection includes many original objects from the Victorian era to the present day - we are still collecting with increasing focus on environmental issues.

Most resources are catalogued with information to help teaching. See the How to Use Artefacts in the Classroom insert for ideas and advice. We can also run training sessions for your staff, demonstrating how artefacts can be used in a classroom setting.

We know that using artefacts can help engage those children with different learning styles. A mystery object can help stimulate enquiry about materials and shapes. A timeline of real objects (lighting, writing tools, transport, kitchen utensils or toys) can be an exciting way of thinking about chronology and invention. How better for KS1 children to learn about “animals including humans” than by having a display of skulls, stuffed animals, real insect, reptile and sea life specimens in the classroom?.

What you can expect:

A selection of 25-40 artefacts for the topics specified on your request form. Some artefacts may be too big for the box and will be packed and sent separately. We try and make cross curricular links and a mix of original and replica objects where possible.

Please don’t worry about resources getting broken. The artefacts are a handling resource, designed to be touched, worn or used with minimal supervision. Fragile or valuable items are sent out in sealed boxes with warning labels. See FAQs for advice.

Subscribing schools can borrow extra artefacts for:

  • School science week or other themed events
  • GCSE art topics
  • Annual events like Black History Month, Remembrance Day
  • Displays in libraries, classrooms and other common spaces
  • School plays and assemblies.

Non subscribing schools can also borrow a pay-as-you go artefact box for special events. See subscription/price info in About Us.

Visit our other website

Explore 400 objects from our arefacts and costume collections. Useful historical and cultural information to help with lesson planning etc.

Snapshot of the Tudor artefacts shelf...

A loan box for "Space"

Stuffed animals: brilliant for "animals including humans" topics or observational drawing.

A riot of puppets...

Suggestions for Using Artefacts in the Classroom

Displays, mystery objects, timelines. Here is our printable flier with tips for making the most out of your artefact loan

Using Artefacts in the classroom

Sample Artefact Boxes

All our artefact loans are unique - created in response to your request form. See the fliers below for a selection of what you might expect in a history artefact loan box.

Maya - AD900

Black Inventors - A Black History Month loan

Antarctic Explorers - a KS1 "Significant People" mixed book & artefact box