History Detectives

Take on the role of a museum collections manager and investigate a range of artefacts. Learn about how records are kept, and what we can learn about artefacts through careful examination. Have a go at detailed observational drawing.

This workshop is ideal for enquiry based learning.


This workshop is suitable for a class studying Victorians, but if you wish to focus on investigative skills, a range of artefacts from Roman to WW2 may be booked.

This 2hr workshop begins with a class discussion about what they think museums offer people and how we can learn from artefacts. The focus will then be on one specific museum role – that of a collections manager.

After being shown an example of how a collections manager would record a donated item, pupils will take on that role. Pupils will work in groups, studying an artefact in great detail and recording their findings. They will begin to form ideas as to what their artefact might have been used for. 

The workshop will end with groups showing their artefact and explaining their findings to the rest of the class.  

The workshop will focus on

  • Investigation of artefacts
  • The importance of keeping records
  • Reporting findings – speaking and listening skills
  • Observational drawings