Welcome to the on-line version of the National Roman Fabric Reference Collection.
The original project was initiated by English Heritage and was conducted as a collaboration between
English Heritage (now Historic England), the Museum of London Specialist Services (now Museum of London
Archaeology) and the British Museum. The resulting monograph, Tomber and Dore 1998, The National
Roman Fabric Reference Collection: A Handbook, MoLAS Monograph 2, was reprinted in 2002 and is now
out of print, but the original text in its entirety, is available on this site. There are a number of
small changes between this resource and the printed version, particularly in the thin-section
descriptions. In the case of any discrepancies between the two versions, the on-line one should take
This web site comprises the original macroscopic photographs of fresh sherd breaks that were
published in Tomber and Dore 1998. Here they are available at a significantly larger size than was
possible to achieve in print and viewed at a width of field of 24 mm. The original photographs and
their digitisation was the work of Andy Chopping of Museum of London Archaeology (© Museum of London
Archaeology). In addition, the on-line resource has been enhanced by the addition of a thin-section
photomicrograph for each fabric. These were taken by Roberta Tomber in the Department of Conservation
and Scientific Research (now Department of Scientific Research, © The British Museum) using a Leica DMRX
petrological microscope, mostly in cross-polarised light (XPL), although plane-polarised light (PPL) was
sometimes used for clarity. In most cases their width of field is 1.74 mm.
The web design and implementation was initiated by Jeremy Ottevanger (Museum of London) and completed
by Paul Tyers. Many other individuals contributed to the success of this website and we particularly
thank Roy Stephenson (Museum of London) and David Bowsher (Museum of London Archaeology) for
facilitating its completion. Not least, we are grateful to the SGRP for hosting this website.
This digital resource was made possible through a generous grant from the Roman Research Trust.