History of Locks

Museum & Archive curator: Brian Morland

Preserving artefacts from antiquity to the cutting edge examples of today

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The History of Locks Museum

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© 2004 - 2023


The scope of our archive is wider than might be imagined. Locks are part of everybody's life; we all compartmentalise and with that seek some kind of privileged access to those compartments. The associated documents we gather into the archive can range from sales literature to letters to political affairs to industrial properties; and even the processes of business in the security sector such as stocks and shares, commercial properties and the like all have interest in hardware and locks that provide privileged controlled access. Therefore whether your interest is in the device that gives privileged access or the people associated in one way or another with that device our archive might contain some leads and clues supporting your own research.

The Archive Database Hardware

One project that has occupied us during the pandemic has been the building a purpose database covering all aspects of the Lock world. The brief was to digitise documents starting with the older more fragile items.

The computer itself is actually a suite of computers centred around two 18TB systems housing the database itself.

The database system though is served by media digitisers such as high-res A4 and A3 scanners, Microfilm, roll and sheet digitisers, and many types of magnetic media floppy disc and tape drives complete with their supporting software and hardware.

More systems are added as further archive  material is donated or acquired.



Not everybody can get to visit and spend time to do study and research at our sites but at the same time as custodians we want to make as much available as possible; this site is the result of providing a wider global access through our digitisation processes. We have therefore started the mammoth job of scanning and indexing the archive. The indexes are  regularly updated as the work progresses and free to download. The index itself might contain what you are looking for or you can, for a nominal fee, request  digital scans of the documents that interest you. You will see that our index is much the same as other archive indexes but also contains a thumbnail image as well. As with the artefact index a few pages are also put on line here as well.

Requesting Scans

This site offers much of the material as free downloads. Those that want scans of the actual documents can order for nominal fees. Those that have regular requests for scans can make further savings by joining the HoL Supporters Group which also has other benefits. More info here.

Adding Material

The work to index is continuous, thus saving the wear and tear to sometimes fragile documents. We are also grateful to all those that send in material to add from around the world.

View a selection of archive records

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