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As the Fitzwilliam Museum is embedded in one of the world’s leading universities, research – its facilitation, dissemination and broader, societal impact – is paramount, underpinning all aspects of major activity. 

The breadth and depth of our internationally-important, accredited collections, and the world-class expertise of our staff provide a distinctive environment for cross-disciplinary research, debates and discoveries.

Who we are

The collections are preserved and researched in the Museum’s five curatorial departments: Antiquities; Applied Arts; Coins & Medals; Manuscripts & Printed Books; and Paintings, Drawings & Prints. Curatorial and conservation expertise ranges across artistic media, including Egyptian papyri and sarcophagi, metalwork, ceramics, illuminated manuscripts, paintings, coins and art works on paper.

The Fitzwilliam’s paintings conservation department, the Hamilton Kerr Institute pursues research into the conservation of easel paintings, their materials and techniques, and offers a Postgraduate Diploma and other training for paintings conservators.

Meet the team


Research clusters

The Fitzwilliam Museum is developing research clusters, which will provide new ways of grouping our research activity. The first of these to be launched is focused on Heritage Science and draws together projects such as:

East Anglian Rood Screens


Polychromy Revealed

Unlocking the English Portrait Miniature: The Materiality of Isaac Oliver’s Oeuvre


Our research projects

Research informs all aspects of work at the Fitzwilliam Museum, from exhibitions and conservation to university teaching and public engagement. Our research projects range across Egyptian coffins, Cypriot antiquities, medieval rood screens and polychrome sculpture, illuminated manuscripts and early printed books, Renaissance and modern bronzes, coins, drawings, paintings and prints. We pursue newly emerging opportunities at the interface with engineering, biology, the physical and medical sciences. Our collection-based research is at the forefront of integrating art and social history with scientific analyses and cutting-edge digital technologies.

Find out more about our research projects


Research facilities

The Fitzwilliam Museum houses six study rooms in which you can gain enhanced access to our world-leading collections for research purposes.

Find out more about using our study rooms