The British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works,is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings 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, on the site of the current building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries was largely a result of an expanding British colonial footprint and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum of Natural History in South Kensington in 1881 (it is nowadays simply called the Natural History Museum, and is separate and independent).
In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all other national museums in the United Kingdom it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions.
The cloakroom is to the west of the Main entrance. £1.50 per item, 50 pence for umbrellas, fold-up pushchairs free.
Large luggage, cabin luggage and wheeled cases of any size are not allowed on British Museum premises for safety and security reasons. Storage for luggage is available at major rail stations, including Euston, King’s Cross and Charing Cross.
Please note folding bicycles are not accepted in the cloakrooms.
Please note that when maximum cloakroom capacity is reached the Museum cannot accept any more items.
There is a Members' cloakroom at the Montague Place entrance. Free for Members only. Please note that the main cloakroom will charge Members.
Wheeled cases and large items of luggage (including suitcases and cabin baggage) are not allowed on British Museum premises for safety and security reasons. Storage for luggage is available at major rail stations, including Euston, King’s Cross and Charing Cross.
Folding bicycles are not accepted in the cloakrooms.
Special exhibitions may have additional restrictions.
The Museum reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to vary or alter these conditions without prior notice.
Photography and Filming
Photography with flash and video recording is permitted in most galleries for private purposes only, using hand-held equipment. Tripods and monopods are not permitted in any part of the Museum.