Inspection and Advisory Service (HIAS)

Artefact collections for loan

The History Curriculum Centre offers a range of artefact collections linked to the National Curriculum history programmes of study for Key Stages 1-3. These put the wow factor into most history topics, engaging pupils and making them eager to learn.

  • Within and beyond living memory

  • Significant past events and individuals

  • Changing technology – coming soon

    This collection will feature an assortment of everyday items for pupils to explore to demonstrate change and prompt questions about the past. Includes timelines showing how different strands of everyday technology have changed over time that feature some items included in the collection, eg telephones and other communication technology.

  • Great Fire of London

    Explore the fire through artefacts, timeline story, maps and other resources. How well does a bucket chain/ squirt work?

  • Nursery rhymes

    For the youngest children, these artefacts illuminate five well-known rhymes, via practical, fun activities that lead them on their first steps into the past.

  • Titanic trunk

    An historic event with many local links, this collection is designed to offer an intriguing mystery for pupils to solve as a stimulus for a study of the sinking of the Titanic.

  • Toys, games and pastimes

    Toys, games and pastimes children’s parents and grandparents will be familiar with for exploring change in a familiar context.

  • World War II evacuees

    Explore what life would have been like for the children and their teachers/carers who were evacuated during WW2.

  • Toys, games and pastimes and Changing toys, games and pastimes

    Toys, games and pastimes adults will be familiar with, but including some matched items from different decades to illustrate the concept of change more explicitly. Changing toys includes some matched items from different decades to illustrate the concept of change more explicitly.

  • World War II home front

    Brings to life a study of life on the home front during the Second World War. What was life like for the men, women and children who remained in Britain during the war?

  • Home life within living memory

    Explores what home life was like when mummy or granny, or even great-granny were girls, particularly in terms of domestic chores. Can be used to make your home corner into a home from the past. with directed roles to play and tasks to complete.

  • World War I

    For exploring the event, commemorating the centenaries of major battles and its ending, or for annual Remembrance events.

  • Victorian home life

    Looks at the home life of a rich Victorian family and their servants using a lively story which mentions each artefact to illustrate how the items were used and by whom. What is different from children’s home life today?

  • Mary Anning

    Explores the life and work of the young girl who discovered and understood the fossilized remains prehistoric creatures yet whose achievements were only fully recognised in recent times.

  • How school life has changed

    Features items for the Victorian era, when education became universal, through to the 1990s. Ideal for approaching the difficult concept of change and involving adults to talk, or be questioned, about their school days.

  • Queens: Lives and times

    Costume and role play items join artefacts relating to Elizabeth I, Queen Victorian and Elizabeth II to help pupils compare their lives and what life was like at the times they lived and ruled, particularly in relation to all forms of communication.

  • Victorian schools

    If your school has been established for some time, you may want to base your local study around it. Could also be used as part of a thematic study of education over time.

  • Florence Nightingale

    Locally, nationally and internationally famous, through this collection children encounter evidence of Florence’s work and legacy.

  • Holidays within living memory

    How have holidays changed within living memory? What has changed and what has stayed the same since the 1950/60s?

  • Mary Seacole

    Mary Seacole worked in the Crimea, at the same time as Florence Nightingale but in a different way. Although as famous as Florence at the time, memory of her almost faded until recently.

  • Victorian seaside

    Explore a Victorian family’s seaside holiday via a lively story (included) which mentions most of the artefacts. Then create a vivid display or museum exhibit.

  • Castle life

    Recreate life in a medieval castle and role play creating a banquet fit for the Lord and Lady using the cooking equipment, tableware and sumptuous wall hangings.


Stone, Bronze and Iron Age

Explore the tools and weapons people who lived so long ago managed to make from the very limited range of natural resources available to them and to explore the technological changes that took place across the three periods.

Roman life

Explores what life was like for Romans in the Roman province of Britannia and how the Roman Empire impacted upon Britain. Includes a small excavation activity relating to a villa site.

Roman soldiers: fighters or builders?

Explores the pivotal role the Roman army played in the Romanisation of Roman provinces like Britannia and why they were nicknamed Marius’ Mules.

Roman villa excavation

Create a mock excavation of a Roman villa site with fragmentary items that would be found during such a dig, to explore how historians and archaeologists work and how we know about Roman life.

Anglo-Saxon life through death

Explores what grave goods can tell us about Saxon life and culture, including men’s and women’s roles. Also explores conversion from paganism to Christianity by examing changing burial practices.

The Maya

Explore this mysterious civilization through artefacts, books and other resources that illustrate aspects of Mayan life, knowledge and beliefs.

Ancient Greek life

Illustrates many aspects of ancient Greek life, their achievements and their influence on us today, from mathematics, philosophy, politics, justice and theatre to religion, medicine and the Olympics.

Egyptian achievements

This collection asks pupils to decode evidential images from real Egyptian tombs and match them to replica artefacts to see what they tell us about Egyptian technology and other achievements.

Viking life

Explores aspects of Viking life and culture such as war and conflict, daily life, beliefs.


Life in Tudor times

Explores different aspects of Tudor life for schools that may be studying the Tudors as part of a local or post-1066 study.

Victorian schools

If your school has Victorian buildings , you may want to base your local study around it and use the artefacts to help stage a Victorian school day  

Victorian seaside

Schools close to the coast may want to use nearby Victorian resorts for their local study. This collection allows a linked exploration of seaside clothing and entertainments from the time.

Titanic trunk

This tragic event has many local links in the south of the county. The collection can be used as a stimulus for your study and also includes sources of information.

World War II evacuees

Colleagues in areas blitzed during World War II may be exploring this as their local or post-1066 study. If so this collection might link well to show what life would have been like for the children and their teachers/carers who were evacuated during World War II.

World War II home front

For those schools looking at WWII as a post-1066 study this collection brings to life what life on the home front was like for the men, women and children who remained in Britain during the war.


World War I

For exploring the event, commemorating the centenaries of major battles and its ending, or for annual Remembrance events.

Lighting through time

Today, with the flick of a switch we can have light wherever we need it, but it was not that simple in the past, as this collection demonstrates.

Mystery objects

A collection of unusual objects to practice the skill of deduction – What is it? Who might have used it? How does it work? What period is it from?


Hiring artefact boxes

Please telephone the History Curriculum Centre on Tel: 01962 874802, to check the availability of your required collection, before completing our online form. Early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

To confirm your loan request, complete the online form below.

Hampshire County Council schools – please forward a copy of the completed online form to your finance officer who will need to send us an internal trading document to authorize payment for the loan. Send the internal trading document to email:

History Curriculum Centre artefact boxes order form

Download catalogue

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