Archives & Library Access

MAKING AN ARCHIVE ENQUIRY

Assay Office Birmingham has a unique private collection comprising silver and other metal artefacts,
a library focused on precious metals, gemstones, design and local history
and its own archives and ledgers which date back to 1773 and in some cases even earlier.


We also welcome enquiries from researchers and members of the public who wish to utilise the information held in our archive and library.
Assay Office Birmingham offers the following services:

  • Visits to the archive and library. You are welcome to visit Assay Office Birmingham in person to access our books and research material. Appointments must be made in advance through the Heritage Officer. Archive visit costs start from £25 per day, which contributes to the maintenance and organisation of the archive and library. Discounts apply for students. For further information and to make a booking contact 0121 262 1037 or use the contact form.

  • We are happy to conduct research on your behalf on Birmingham jewellers, silversmiths, precious metals, jewellery and local history using the resources in our library and archive. Please contact us in the first instance to discuss your requirements.Please note that fees apply for such research.


ASSAY ARCHIVES

The silver, coin and library collections of Assay Office Birmingham are now available to search online.
We received a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which enabled us to transfer the paper records to an electronic catalogue and photograph the collection during 2014/15. You can search our Museum Collection, which contains records for our silver and coin collections, and our Library catalogue.

 

You can search the catalogue in three ways:

SIMPLE SEARCH allows you to search across either the museum and library catalogues, or both together,
using a single word from the title, description, creator or author.

ADVANCED SEARCH allows you to search across multiple fields from either the museum or library catalogue.
Select the catalogue you want to perform your search on, using the drop-down menu at the top of the search options.

EXPERT SEARCH allows you to perform complex searches on one catalogue at a time.
Use the drop-down menu to select the catalogue you want and add more field to your search by clicking the plus sign (+) on the right of the screen.

If you want to identify a date letter, please go to the Hallmark Identification section of our website, where you will find more information about date letters and can search our database to find which year your item was hallmarked.

 

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