Archive Collection

In this section of the museum website you can learn about some of the interesting historical documents in our collection.

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Explore some of the museum's archival-type collections

One week's holiday twice yearly

Harry Boatman's Indenture of Apprenticeship 1899

A sign of the times

Doctors on the offensive: The National Ophthalmic Treatment Board

A Spectacle Maker with taste

What the SMC had for dinner (to start with)

I see a nice little earner

Optical advertising from a century ago.

Instructions for the deaf

How to test the sight of someone who cannot hear.

Glasses as presents

Over a hundred years ago George Crook, an optician in Southport, was recommending you buy a friend or relative a pair of glasses for Christmas. It didn't matter what power they were. You obtained a sample pair to hand over on Christmas morning. Imagine the joy when the person unwrapped them! Two days later the lucky recipient could go in for a free eye examination and have the spectacles replaced with ones that met their own prescription.

The IOOL and WCO

The College holds the archives of the international body for optometry up until 1996, together with some related material dating from then until the present.

Statutes and ordinances for Cliffords Inn

As well as preserving the world's oldest publicly-accessible collection on the history of ophthalmic optics, the BOA Museum looks after the institutional history of the College and its predecessor organisations. For twenty years of that history the British Optical Association was accommodated in the medieval Cliffords Inn Hall with entrances off Fetter Lane and Fleet Street.


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