Museum staff are actively involved in researching the collections and fieldwork and collecting in their areas of specialism, resulting in publications, conference presentations, exhibitions, broadcasts and film.
Archive research is one essential aspect of this work, helping to reveal the original context of material in the collections. Fieldwork is another crucial component of the Horniman's work, providing first hand information which enables the curators to contextualise and develop the collections and to give the Museum's exhibitions contemporary relevance. The Horniman provide facilities for visitors to research the collections and their related subject areas.
Research conferences held at the Museum bring together experts to discuss and share their knowledge about collections. The Museum's publication series Contributions in Critical Museology and Material Culture also helps to make existing and new research about the Museum's collections more widely available. Curators also publish in scholarly journals as well as in more popular publications and regularly speak at international conferences.