British Museum

The eighteenth century: origins of the British Museum The origins of the British Museum lie in the will of the physician, naturalist and collector, Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753). Over his lifetime, Sloane collected more than 71,000 objects which he wanted to be preserved intact after his death. So he bequeathed the whole collection to King George II for the nation in return for a payment of £20,000 to his heirs. The gift was accepted and on 7 June 1753, an Act of Parliament established the British Museum. The founding collections largely consisted of books, manuscripts and natural specimens with some antiquities (including coins and medals, prints and drawings) and ethnographic material. In 1757 King George II donated the 'Old Royal Library' of the sovereigns of England and with it the privilege of copyright receipt.

What's on at British Museum

Culture

Farmers, traders and artisans in ancient Mexico

A gallery talk by Elizabeth Baquedano, University College London. Gallery talks last 45 minutes. The...

  • British Museum
  • Sept. 21, 2019, 1:15 p.m.
Culture

Pushing paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now

A gallery talk by Isabel Seligman, British Museum. Gallery talks last 45 minutes. They are given by ...

  • British Museum
  • Sept. 24, 2019, 1:15 p.m.
Culture

Portrait of an artist: Käthe Kollwitz

A gallery talk by Frances Carey, British Museum. Gallery talks last 45 minutes. They are given by Mu...

  • British Museum
  • Sept. 25, 2019, 1:15 p.m.
Culture

Little feet: celebrate the 90s

Join us to celebrate the 90th Little feet session at the British Museum with a look back to the deca...

  • British Museum
  • Sept. 27, 2019, 10:30 a.m.
Culture

Javanese gamelan and shadow puppet theatre performance

World Stage events shine a light on intangible cultural heritage from around the globe. They take pl...

  • British Museum
  • Sept. 27, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Culture

Early morning explorers

Early morning explorers is a relaxed early opening for families with children aged 5-15 with autism ...

  • British Museum
  • Sept. 29, 2019, 8 a.m.
Culture

Nara: faith and renewal

The international symposium celebrates the opening of two special displays at the British Museum o...

  • British Museum
  • Oct. 4, 2019, 10 a.m.
Culture

John Christian and the last Romantics

A gallery talk by Susannah Walker, British Museum. Gallery talks last 45 minutes. They are given by ...

  • British Museum
  • Oct. 4, 2019, 1:15 p.m.
Culture

Nara: sacred images from Early Japan

A gallery talk by Tim Clark, British Museum. Gallery talks last 45 minutes. They are given by Museum...

  • British Museum
  • Oct. 8, 2019, 1:15 p.m.
Culture

Notgeld: German emergency money

A gallery talk by Tom Hockenhull, British Museum. Gallery talks last 45 minutes. They are given by M...

  • British Museum
  • Oct. 9, 2019, 1:15 p.m.
Culture

Little feet: tell a tale

Enjoy a creative storytelling session and go on an inspiring journey as our professional storyteller...

  • British Museum
  • Oct. 10, 2019, 10:30 a.m.
Culture

Collecting in 19th century Africa

A gallery talk by Nick Badcott, independent speaker. Gallery talks last 45 minutes. They are given b...

  • British Museum
  • Oct. 11, 2019, 1:15 p.m.
Culture

University Archaeology Day 2019

The future of our past is in your hands! Archaeology is a unique discipline that combines the arts a...

  • British Museum
  • Oct. 12, 2019, 11 a.m.
Culture

Pre-colonial glassmaking in West Africa: art, technology, and trade

In this special lecture to mark Black History Month 2019, Abidemi Babatunde Babalola (University of ...

  • British Museum
  • Oct. 18, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
  • Great Russell St, Bloomsbury
  • London
  • UK
  • WC1B 3DG
Phone: (0)20 7323 8181
Email: info@britishmuseum.org
More information about the venue