The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present.
The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury, on the site of the current museum building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum (Natural History) in South Kensington in 1887. Some objects in the collection, most notably the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, are the objects of intense controversy and calls for restitution to their countries of origin.
Until 1997, when the British Library (previously centred on the Round Reading Room) moved to a new site, the British Museum was unique in that it housed both a national museum of antiquities and a national library in the same building.
Free eyeOpener gallery tours are available. These are short tours (30–40 minutes each) introducing different areas of the Museum's collection, led by volunteer guides. The tours run every day and are free with no booking required, simply meet at the relevant gallery. It is advisable to check the times of the tours beforehand for specific galleries. In addition, there are free lunchtime tours every Tuesday to Saturday at 13.15 in individual galleries.
Contact details of the British Museum tel: +44 (0)20 7323 8299, fax: +44 (0)20 7323 8616, email: email@example.com
Tickets for special exhibitions can be purchased online, by phone or in person at the box office.
The Museum is free to all visitors and is open daily 10.00–17.30. The Museum is open late every Thursday and Friday until 20.30. The Museum is closed on 1 January, 24, 25, 26 December.
If you would like to view search results for museums click here.