Founded in 1813, it was originally a library of ancient manuscripts of the Company, but soon grew to include many printed books, often presented by their authors, or annotated by famous clock and watchmakers. The Clockmakers’ Library is now celebrated for its holding of rare clockmakers’ workbooks and related documents (such as Victor Kullberg’s records, and many 18th century holograph manuscripts by John Harrison).
The Clockmakers’ Museum is the oldest collection in the world specifically of clocks and watches, and considered to be one of the finest. It contains some 600 English and European watches, 30 clocks and 15 marine timekeepers, together with a number of rare horological portraits. The majority of items range from c.1600 to c.1850. Perhaps the most important group within the Collection is the marine timekeepers,
illustrating the importance of horology in the science of navigation, including the celebrated 5th marine timekeeper made by John Harrison and completed in 1770.
The Collection was at Guildhall in the City of London since 1874, but it has now moved to The Science Museum. It was formally opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 22nd October 2015 in a new gallery on the 2nd floor of The Science Museum.