Everything you ever wanted to know about the Great Court
4 December 2020

To mark the Great Court’s 20th birthday, we’ve rounded up everything you ever wanted to know about this iconic space – from famous faces who have passed through to how many blue whales would make up the weight of the roof.

What’s on at the British Museum in 2021?
27 November 2020

From the story of one of Rome’s most infamous emperors, to the assassination of Thomas Becket, see what special exhibitions are coming up in our 2021 programme. 

Before it disappears: recording endangered practices, skills and knowledge
10 November 2020

As technology advances and the world embraces change, centuries-old skills, practices and traditions can be pushed aside – sometimes disappearing altogether. Find out how skills and practices that are in danger of being lost are being preserved by the Museum and EMKP – the Endangered Material Knowledge Programme.

Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman
25 August 2020

Museum Trustee Grayson Perry returns to the galleries with a work that celebrates the forgotten artists who made many of the objects in the collection. Find out more about the work, hear from the artist and see it on display in Room 17.

A message from Director Hartwig Fischer
5 June 2020

‘The British Museum stands in solidarity with the Black community throughout the world. Black Lives Matter.’ A message from Director Hartwig Fischer.

Virtual visit: London landmarks
31 May 2020

Dreaming of a day out? Join us as we take you on a virtual whistle-stop tour of some London sights through the prints and drawings collections.

Historical city travel guide: Nineveh, 7th century BC
7 May 2020

Journey back over 2,600 years with curator Gareth Brereton as we visit the Assyrian capital city of Nineveh. Discover the sights, shopping destinations, entertainment and local delicacies not to be missed (and the areas to steer clear of).

Janina Ramirez: four objects for Museums in Quarantine
27 April 2020

Janina Ramirez reveals four special objects that we couldn’t fit into our upcoming BBC Museums in Quarantine episode, and ponders how the events of 2020 might be remembered by historians of the future.

13 landscapes to lose yourself in
14 April 2020

Need a change of scenery? Join us as we set off around the world to take in a baker’s dozen of delightful landscapes.

Seeking Inspiration
9 April 2020

We all need a little inspiration sometimes, especially while we’re stuck inside. We asked Museum staff to share their inspirational stories and powerful objects from the collection (and beyond) – we hope they inspire you too.

Mary Beard’s top five objects
8 April 2020

Newly appointed Trustee Mary Beard introduces you to her top five objects in the collection, and reveals a moment in the Museum that started her journey to becoming Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge

How to explore the British Museum from home
27 March 2020

Whether it’s a virtual visit or a Curator’s corner, there are plenty of ways to keep exploring the British Museum online – here are our favourite ones.

Rediscovering Dorothy Hawksley
26 March 2020

Curator Susannah Walker takes a closer look at the life and work of Dorothy Hawksley – a talented but enigmatic artist who remained independent of any mainstream art movements – and how a recent acquisition has helped shed light on her work.

Disposable cups and recycled exhibitions
11 February 2020

Single-use and disposable objects are not a recent phenomenon, but the environmental impact of modern-day single-use items is huge. Kayte McSweeney and Julia Farley examine two disposable cups made 3,500 years apart that are on display in our current free exhibition, and take a look at what the Museum is doing to reduce its environmental impact.

Bonnie Greer: the Era of Reclamation
8 January 2020

Bonnie Greer OBE, playwright, critic and former British Museum Trustee, explores her relationship with the Museum and what she calls the ‘Era of Reclamation’ – a time for conversations around ownership, not only of ourselves and our identities but of what we believe belongs to us.

What does our rubbish say about us?
19 December 2019

Co-curators Julia Farley and Kayte McSweeney explore how rubbish has enabled archaeologists to better understand the lives of people living in ancient Britain, and consider what our own rubbish will say about us.

Eighty years (and more) of Sutton Hoo
24 July 2019

It’s been 80 years since Sutton Hoo was discovered and excavated. But why is this Anglo-Saxon ship burial so important and what has it taught us?

The British Museum Membercast: Exploring Munch
31 May 2019

Iszi explores the special exhibition, Edvard Munch: love and angst using the expert lecture of Giulia Bartrum to guide both you and her through it.

Reimagining a Tahitian mourning costume
31 May 2019

In 2018, conservators, curators and scientists had the challenge of preparing an imposing Tahitian mourning costume for display and long-term preservation. Head of Organic Conservation Monique Pullan talks you through the lengthy process

Hokusai: the father of manga?
10 May 2019

Tim Clark discusses the origins of manga, and debates whether Hokusai could actually be said to be the father of modern day manga…

The British Museum Membercast: Bioarchaeology at the British Museum
3 May 2019

Iszi talks to Curator Daniel Antoine about his work in Bioarchaeology.

10 things you may not know about The Scream
5 March 2019

It is art’s most haunting and iconic face. A universal symbol of anxiety. It even has its own emoji. Discover more about the fascinating story behind The Scream, and maybe a few things you didn’t know.

The Islamic world: the big themes
26 February 2019

Curator William Greenwood explores the themes connecting objects from a vast and fascinating area, now on display in our Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic world.

When a hat is not just a hat
18 January 2019

Co-founder of the Pussyhat Project, Jayna Zweiman, talks about how the Pussyhat escalated from an object of protest to a cultural icon and symbol of women’s rights. 

260 years – the British Museum in numbers
15 January 2019

Join us as we celebrate 260 years since the Museum first opened its doors on 15 January 1759. From cats to conservation, we’ve compiled the biggest and best numbers from the last two and a half centuries.

What’s on at the British Museum in 2019?
1 January 2019

From manga to Munch, the myths of Troy to the realities of feeding the world, see what’s coming up in our 2019 exhibitions programme!

The British Museum Membercast: Halloween
27 November 2018

Follow Iszi as she wanders around the Museum out of hours on Halloween. Listen to spooky tales, hear a ghostly interview from a curator who worked at the Museum at the height of the Second World War and discover more about the Iron Age penchant for serving mulled wine by the bucketful.

The British Museum Membercast: Stonehenge
30 October 2018

Stonehenge is an enduring source of mystery, myth and legend. It’s one of the most famous monuments in the world, equal to the pyramids. But who built Stonehenge, and what was their world like?

Paradise on earth: the gardens of Ashurbanipal
4 October 2018

King Ashurbanipal might have been a fearsome warrior but he was also a keen gardener! We take a look at how the Assyrian kings created a slice of paradise on earth with their exotic botanical gardens.

The British Museum Membercast: I object
25 September 2018

This month Iszi presents Ian Hislop’s discussion with Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, on the history of protest and poking fun at authority. Later, Iszi takes us on a tour of the Museum’s latest show, the Citi exhibition I object: Ian Hislop’s search for dissent.

The British Museum Membercast: The seaside (Part 2)
29 August 2018

This month Iszi presents the second part of the Members’ exclusive lecture from Sir Barry Cunliffe and wonders how and why humans became seafarers.

British Museum’s Iraq Scheme helps reunite objects from ancient site of Tello
10 August 2018

A group of eight historic objects from Tello seized in a Metropolitan Police raid are now going back to Iraq with the help of the British Museum.

The British Museum Membercast: The seaside (Part 1)
24 July 2018

This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Sir Barry Cunliffe and wonders how and why humans became seafarers. The human impulse to conquer the sea stems from an inbuilt urge to explore and is perhaps the driving force in human history.

The British Museum Membercast: Nefertiti’s face
26 June 2018

This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Joyce Tyldesley and explores the creation of a cultural icon, from its ancient origins to its modern context: its discovery, its display, and its dual role as a political pawn and artistic inspiration.

Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories
26 June 2018

A new audio commentary tour exploring LGBTQ histories in the Museum’s collection has just been launched. Head of Interpretation and Volunteers, Stuart Frost, highlights objects from the tour and looks at stories that, until recently, have been overlooked or underrepresented in museums and galleries.

The British Museum Membercast: Making a living in Iron Age Britain
30 May 2018

What was it like to live in Britain before the arrival of the Romans? This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Curator Julia Farley and explores what life was like for the farmers and warriors who lived in these islands over 2,000 years ago.

The British Museum Membercast: A year in the life of scientific research at the Museum
25 April 2018

This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Carl Heron, Director of Scientific Research, looking at spectacular new research findings, the development of new laboratory facilities, and the many activities of the department.

International women collectors
16 March 2018

Sushma Jansari looks at the lives of four women collectors, and some of the objects they collected that are now in the British Museum.

The British Museum Membercast: Transforming a gallery
28 February 2018

This month Iszi interviews Jonathan Lubikowski all about the redevelopment of The Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia.

Reading Margery Kempe’s inner voices
17 January 2018

What it is like to hear voices that no-one else can? What does it mean? Professor Charles Fernyhough discusses the life of Margery Kempe, an English mystic who documented her experience with inner voices 600 years ago, and how her experiences can help to refine psychological and neuroscientific accounts of hallucinations.

An introduction to Greek architecture
18 December 2017

From pediments to capitals, we take a look at some of the key features of ancient Greek architecture and how it has inspired our own building in Bloomsbury

Major new partnership with the University of Reading
13 December 2017

We are delighted to announce a major partnership project with the University of Reading to develop a significant new collection storage and research facility.

The British Museum Membercast: Currency, communism and credit
27 November 2017

This month Iszi talks to curator Thomas Hockenhull all about the free exhibition the currency of communism. She finds out why shells are hard to forge, how communist states purposely made their currency feel worthless and even uses Thomas’ crystal ball to look at the future of money.

The Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme: an update
24 November 2017

The Museum’s Iraq Emergency Heritage Management Training Scheme began in 2015 to help combat the many threats to the country’s archaeology. Now, learn about some of the project’s important new discoveries.

A royal welcome! Her Majesty The Queen opens China and South Asia Gallery
9 November 2017

On 8 November 2017, we were delighted to welcome Her Majesty The Queen to officially open the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia.

What Black History Month means to me
9 October 2017

Playwright, producer and director Patricia Cumper is also a British Museum Trustee. Here, she looks at what Black History Month has meant to her, and how the British Museum can help to tell these stories to the world.

Horses: a Scythian’s best friend
4 October 2017

Project Curator Chloe Leighton is given full rein to reveal how important horses were to the Scythians’ way of life.

Poetic licence: the Museum gets lyrical
28 September 2017

Know your ode from your elegy? Your spondee from your dactyl? Then take a look at some of the poetry found within the Museum.

The British Museum Membercast: Behind the scenes
27 September 2017

Iszi Lawrence talks to Julianne Phippard, the British Museum’s first preventative conservator. They discuss how the Museum keeps the collection safe from pests, light, and chemicals and even gives you some top tips for saving a mobile phone that you’ve dropped in the toilet.

Dan Snow meets the Scythians
27 September 2017

Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow takes us behind the scenes of the Museum’s latest exhibition.

Curator’s corner: Irving Finkel and the Lewis Chessmen
25 September 2017

Curator Irving Finkel may have joined the wrong department to look after the Lewis Chessmen, but that hasn’t stopped him writing a book on them, and having a surprising connection to a film about a certain boy wizard.

Ancient wisdom: what tooth decay can tell us about the past
22 September 2017

Find out what a dental anthropologist does all day, and how tooth decay can lead to exciting new discoveries.

A new acquisition: a magnificent drawing by Benozzo Gozzoli
18 September 2017

Curator Sarah Vowles takes a closer look at a spectacular Florentine Renaissance drawing recently acquired by the Museum.

How we brought the Scythians to London
14 September 2017

Curator St John Simpson gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the many steps that go into producing a major exhibition on a large scale.

The marathon’s ancient origins
11 September 2017

Senior Curator Judith Swaddling uncovers the ancient Greek origins of the long-distance endurance race, revealing the original ‘marathon runner’.

The Sword of Tiberius
8 September 2017

Curator Thorsten Opper reveals some of the secrets of the so-called Sword of Tiberius – the most famous sword to have survived from the Roman world.

Drawn together: how the Museum’s collection inspires students
5 September 2017

Sarah Jaffray, Project Officer for the Bridget Riley Art Foundation, talks about how drawing is enjoying a renaissance among art students, in part thanks to the Museum’s fascinating collection.

Ladies aglow: finding the colour in 2,000-year-old figurines
1 September 2017

British Museum Scientist Joanne Dyer talks about the new scientific techniques that are casting ancient objects in a new light.

Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca
30 August 2017

Millions of Muslims make the journey to Mecca each year. Here are a few of the key things you should know about this incredible pilgrimage.

The British Museum Membercast: The man who collected the world
29 August 2017

Iszi Lawrence talks to Historian James Delbourgo all about his new biography of Hans Sloane, Collecting the World. They discuss Sloane’s pursuit of ‘universal knowledge’, how he contributed to the founding of the British Museum and his association with the slave trade.

Scythians, ice mummies and burial mounds
23 August 2017

Curator St John Simpson takes a closer look at Scythian burial mounds and how they reveal what these nomadic warriors believed about the afterlife.

Solar eclipses, then and now
21 August 2017

As a solar eclipse crosses the United States on 21 August 2017, Curator Jonathan Taylor takes a look at what the Babylonians thought of this celestial phenomenon.

Photography at the Museum: a developing story
19 August 2017

Photography is not even 200 years old, and yet has changed the way we think about the world. Archivist Francesca Hillier and Senior Photographer Kevin Lovelock reveal the intriguing history of photography at the British Museum.

The power of patronage at the Great Shrine of Amaravati
11 August 2017

The Great Shrine of Amaravati was one of the most important Buddhist monuments in the world. Curator Imma Ramos explains the long history of this sacred site, and how we’re using new technology to help people find out about the people who funded its construction.

Object journeys: working with the Kiribati community in the UK
8 August 2017

Oceania Curator Polly Bence talks about her work with the UK’s Kiribati community through the Object Journeys project, helping to bring the British Museum’s Micronesia collection into focus.

Fantastic beasts and where to find them
3 August 2017

Curator Naomi Speakman explores the fantastical world of medieval bestiaries and the mythical creatures found within.

A new dimension in home shopping
31 July 2017

Ever wanted to take your favourite British Museum object home? Daniel Pett explains how the Museum is using pioneering 3D printing technology to produce replicas of some of its most iconic objects. 

Hokusai in the world, then and now
26 July 2017

Angus Lockyer discusses the impact on modern art of Katsushika Hokusai – an artist whose work effortlessly moved between seen and unseen worlds.

Postcards from Aden
21 July 2017

Curator St John Simpson explores how the Museum’s collection of postcards from the port city of Aden in Yemen capture snapshots of social history.

Collecting modern Egypt
19 July 2017

The Museum’s objects from Egypt span from prehistory to the present. In 2016 the modern Egypt project was launched to bring the collection into the 21st century. Objects from housewares and everyday items to ephemera and photographs can tell stories about historical, economic and cultural developments in Egypt over the past century.

Inheriting the most iconic object at the British Museum
15 July 2017

Ilona Regulski is Curator of Egyptian Written Culture at the British Museum. This includes looking after one of the most iconic objects in the world! Here, she shares what she has learnt since becoming the latest custodian of the Rosetta Stone.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Rosetta Stone
14 July 2017

You’ve probably heard of the Rosetta Stone. It’s one of the most famous objects in the British Museum, but what actually is it? Take a closer look…

What lies ahead: new galleries to present a voyage of discovery and learning
7 July 2017

Our Director Hartwig Fischer reflects on his first year here, and presents a new vision for the Museum’s collection in the 2016–2017 Annual Review.

Be bold: LGBTQ histories
5 July 2017

Laura Phillips, Head of Community Partnerships at the Museum, writes on the importance of institutions being bold with their LGBTQ histories, and why that can sometimes be a nerve-racking experience.

A symbol of pride: raising the rainbow flag
3 July 2017

Assistant Collections Manager George Benson talks about hoisting the Rainbow Flag over the British Museum for Pride, and why its importance isn’t just restricted to LGBTQ people.

‘Her Majesty’s Picture’: circulating a likeness of Elizabeth I
30 June 2017

Dora Thornton, Curator of Renaissance Collections, details how Queen Elizabeth I used her portrait to manipulate her public and private image.

Let’s talk about sex
27 June 2017

In an age when talking about ‘the birds and the bees’ doesn’t cut it anymore, Education Manager Melany Rose explains an important new offering at the Museum for schools.

Montagu House: the first British Museum
23 June 2017

Museum Archivist Francesca Hillier takes us through the fascinating history of the first building to house the British Museum’s collection, Montagu House.

A question of interpretation
22 June 2017

Head of Interpretation Stuart Frost explains how his team collaborates with colleagues across the organisation to help develop new permanent exhibits and temporary special exhibitions.

Time to shine: a 17th-century night clock
13 June 2017

Curator of horology Oli Cooke takes a closer look at a beautiful 17th-century clock that presents a novel way to tell the time in the middle of the night.

The technique of making a good impression
10 June 2017

Traditional Japanese woodblock prints are renowned for their exquisite detail and colour. Curator Alfred Haft reveals how the skilled block cutter and printer helped to create these beautiful works of popular art.

Pay attention
5 June 2017

With the exhibition The American Dream: pop to the present approaching its final few weeks, Susan Tallman tells us why it is time to pay attention. 

The British Museum Membercast: Friends, Romans, countrymen? – Part 1
31 May 2017

Julia Farley, Curator of British and European Iron Age Collections, joins Iszi Lawrence to examine the early years of the Roman conquest, when allegiances were shifting rapidly. Highlighting extraordinary objects and fascinating characters, Julia and Iszi’s discussion brings the period to life.

 

Dirty old river: secrets of the Thames
31 May 2017

London’s history has always been closely connected to the River Thames, one of the UK’s longest and deepest rivers. On London History Day, Jennifer Wexler, Digital Research Project Producer, dredges up some of the fascinating objects found in this famous river.

What do nomads leave behind?
30 May 2017

Curator of the BP exhibition Scythians: ancient warriors of Siberia St John Simpson takes a closer look at some of the intriguing objects in the show – beautiful and exquisite, unusual and unexpected, but above all light and portable…

Working at the Hirayama Studio
24 May 2017

Did you know that the Museum has a conservation studio just for East Asian paintings? The Hirayama Studio opened in 1994 and continues to use traditional techniques to preserve, protect and display these amazing works. Here, student Matthias Sotiras writes about his five months spent in this unique work environment.

Conserving Dürer’s Triumphal Arch: Getting the big picture
21 May 2017

As the project to conserve Dürer’s Triumphal Arch reaches the final stages Sam Taylor and Agnieszka Depta work with the Hirayama Studio to prepare the print for future display.

The Frome Hoard voted top Treasure
21 May 2017

As the Frome Hoard is voted the nation’s top Treasure find of the last 20 years by Telegraph readers, Sam Moorhead, Finds Adviser for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, takes a look back at this remarkable discovery and how its legacy continues today.

Stories for equality
17 May 2017

Desire, love, identity is a small exhibition that draws selectively from across the breadth of the Museum’s vast collection to highlight LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) histories that have until recently been overlooked or underrepresented in museums and galleries.

Hokusai: old master
10 May 2017

People are living longer than ever before and society is constantly reevaluating what it means to be ‘old’. Exhibition Curator Tim Clark reveals why Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave focuses on the last 30 years of the artist’s extraordinarily long life.

South Asia season 2017
3 May 2017

2017 marks the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, and the emergence of India and Pakistan as independent nation states and is also the India-UK Year of Culture. To celebrate this, the British Museum is presenting a season bringing together different activity in London and across the UK, celebrating the many cultures of South Asia.

Tom Scott vs Dr Irving Finkel: The Royal Game of Ur
29 April 2017

For International Tabletop Day 2017, British Museum curator Irving Finkel challenged YouTuber Tom Scott to a round of the oldest playable board game in the world – The Royal Game of Ur – a game Irving discovered and deciphered the rules to himself.

The British Museum Membercast: Capability Brown
26 April 2017

Richard Wheeler, National Specialist in Garden History for The National Trust, discusses English landscape designer Capability Brown with Iszi Lawrence. 

Making waves
25 April 2017

Take a closer look at one of the most famous artworks in the world. The Great Wave was created in 1831 but has had a remarkable influence on art ever since. Here are some key facts you might not know about this iconic masterpiece.

Ali’s Boat: a story of migration
21 April 2017

Ali’s Boat by Sadik Kwaish Alfraji tells a personal story of exile and migration. Venetia Porter and Holly Wright discuss how this artwork became part of The Asahi Shimbun Display Moving stories: three journeys.

The day the mastodons left
18 April 2017

Museum Archivist Francesca Hillier explains how the collection got too big for one institution, and why you won’t find dinosaurs in Bloomsbury.

The British Museum podcast: The purrrplexing story of the British Museum cats
12 April 2017

There are plenty of cats depicted in Museum objects, but did you know that real cats used to live at the Museum? Digital Creative Producer Nick Harris takes us through his podcast on this surprising aspect of the Museum’s history.

Idrimi, the 3,500-year-old refugee
10 April 2017

The statue of King Idrimi arrived at the British Museum in 1939. The inscription that stretches across the front of the statue is now recognised as one of the 20 most important cuneiform documents ever found. James Fraser, Project Curator, Middle East Department, discusses the importance of Idrimi’s story, and how new scanning techniques are allowing us unravel the inscription in more detail.

Defacing coins like a suffragette
30 March 2017

Thomas Hockenhull tells the story of an ordinary British penny of Edward VII, that was made extraordinary by a simple act of vandalism.  

British Museum presents: Hokusai – coming to a cinema near you this summer
22 March 2017

Coming to a cinema near you this summer, the British Museum brings the works of Hokusai to the big screen.

Women of the world
8 March 2017

Did you know that the word ‘museum’ literally means a temple to the muses, all of whom were female (albeit allegorical)? This International Women’s Day, take a look at some of the very real women represented in the Museum’s collection today. Your guides are some of the many women curators who are continuing to tell these important stories to the world.

World Book Day: leafing through the pages of history
2 March 2017

For World Book Day, we’re celebrating all things literary. From some of the earliest writing from 5,000 years ago to our favourite fiction, discover the different ways people around the world have shared ideas through books in their many forms!

LGBTQ badges in the British Museum
27 February 2017

With the exhibition Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories soon to open at the British Museum, Keeper Philip Attwood takes a look at the Museum’s collection of lesbian and gay badges.

The oldest portrait in the British Museum
6 February 2017

The Jericho Skull is arguably the oldest portrait in the British Museum – a human skull from the ancient city of Jericho which had plaster applied to it to form a type of early facial reconstruction. The Jericho Skull is fascinating to look at, but since being discovered in 1953, archaeologists weren’t able to find out much more about this man – until now.

‘Wayfinding’: The Bridget Riley Art Foundation and Central Saint Martins at the British Museum
22 October 2015

Pairing drawings of BA Fine Art students from Central Saint Martins with the works that inspired them during their visit to the Prints and Drawings Study Room Wayfinding explores drawing as a tool that artists, both emerging and established, use to find their way.