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Visit to the British Museum Libraries and Archives [Event Ref. No. TG1V/BMLA]


10:00 am - 1:00 pm


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This is an exclusive opportunity to visit a number of the departmental libraries and the central archive of the British Museum.  With over 350,000 items ranging from the 16th century to the present day, the libraries of the British Museum represent a significant research resource in their own right.  Some of the collections are among the most specialised in their field and consequently rank among the finest in the country.

The visit will incorporate a tour of the following:

The Anthropology Library and Research Centre

With over 130,000 items, the ALRC is widely recognised as one of the world’s finest anthropology libraries.  The collection ranges from 16th century to the present day and covers all aspects of anthropology.  It is global in its geographical scope but is particularly strong the Commonwealth and the Americas.

The Central Archive

The Central Archive of the British Museum contains the administrative records of the Museum dating back to its foundation. They are records created by the Museum and which have been selected for permanent preservation which include minutes of meetings of the Museum’s Trustees, departmental reports on acquisitions and administration, policy and financial records. Holdings also include papers of former members of staff and records of the administration of the Round Reading Room with application forms from many notable readers.

The Middle East Library

Housed in the famous Arched Room, once used by the British Library, the Middle East library covers the archaeology, history, languages, art and architecture, and literature (excepting Islamic literature) of the Middle East and Central Asia from the earliest human occupation to the present day.

The Prints and Drawings Library

The Prints and Drawings library comprises some 50,000 items relating to the history of Western prints and drawings, making it one of the UK’s major art libraries.

The Prehistory and Europe Library

The Prehistory and Europe departmental library was created in 2002 after the merging of the Prehistory and Roman Britain and Medieval and Later Antiquities departments. The collection covers the Palaeolithic period around the world, the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages in Europe, the Roman occupation of Britain, Byzantium, the Early and Late Medieval period in both Britain and the continent and the European decorative arts from the Renaissance to the twentieth century.

This visit is free of charge. To reserve a space please use our online booking form or email the administrator via

There will only be ten places available, one per institution, so early booking is essential.

* Please note that due to the layout & design of the British Museum there will be a lot of walking and climbing of stairs in order to reach the different collections *


Booking form for M25 Members   Booking form for non-Members