How your money helps

Membership activities made a contribution of over £3 million to the Museum last year. Your support plays a vital role, thank you.

In 2015 Members responded to an appeal to acquire the Stoney Waterloo Album. Through their extraordinary generosity, and that of the American Friends of the British Museum, the Museum secured this historic album in the 200th anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo.

Designed by Sir Robert Smirke and completed in 1857, the Grade I listed Bloomsbury building requires frequent and painstaking work to maintain it. For much of the past year regular work has been undertaken to the main portico as part of ongoing, vital repairs to the stonemasonry.

The British Museum is a museum of the citizen – its collection is for the whole of the UK. Last year 3 million visitors saw British Museum objects on display in museums and galleries across the UK. The Sikh fortress turban spotlight tour has been the most popular, reaching over 250,000 visitors and nine museums across the country.

One of the most ambitious building developments in the British Museum’s history – the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre – was completed with the support of our Members. The building in the northwest corner of the Museum site houses new state-of-the-art conservation and science laboratories, new storage facilities, a loans hub, and the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), managed by the British Museum, recently announced the discovery of a significant Viking hoard in Oxfordshire. The PAS offers the only proactive mechanism for recording such finds, which are made publicly available on its online database at

The gallery space for temporary displays on subjects relating to money and medals (Room 69a) has been refurbished to create a more welcoming space, with improved lighting more appropriate for small objects.

Images from top left:

Thomas (?) Stoney, The Village of Waterloo (detail). Watercolour over graphite, 20 June 1815.

Part of the British Museum lead work renovation project.

Sikh fortress turban. Punjab, India, late 19th century.

The World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre.

The Watlington Hoard. A Viking hoard deposited around the end of the 870s.

Hoards: the hidden history of ancient Britain in Room 69a.