Research by the department is extremely diverse. Current projects range from publishing old collections acquired by the Museum over one hundred years ago, to studies of new categories of material, from cosmetic grinders used during the Iron Age and Roman periods to dress fittings of Tudor times. Research often involves staff from other departments in the Museum, in particular Conservation, Documentation and Science.
The department is also involved in archaeological excavations, which range from the investigation of sites where treasure has been discovered to underwater investigation of the sites of Roman shipwrecks.
Curators and staff in the department are involved in a wide range of research projects.
Research from both projects and excavations appear in publications in the form of books and catalogues, articles in journals, and media outlets such as magazines and websites.
The department is actively involved in the administration of the 1996 Treasure Act.