A dose of culture from home

Posted on by Fay Curtis.

As you may know by now, we have closed all of our museums to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In the meantime, we are doing all we can to make Bristol’s museum collections available online for our audiences at home and around the world.

We’ll be adding to the information below throughout the coming weeks to inspire you with ways to learn, relax and support your own creativity.

If it’s all too much and you just want some light relief, you can follow us on Instagram to enjoy some highlights from our collection.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our museums as soon as possible.


Experience our exhibitions from home

You can experience some of our most recent exhibitions from the comfort of your own sofa – from beautiful Japanese Prints to Bristol’s amazing music heritage.

Take a look at our online exhibitions.

Delve into Bristol’s stories

Explore stories about Bristol and the world through the city’s objects, art and people. There’s plenty to get stuck into – from Banksy to Bristol’s Black History.

Have a read of some of Bristol’s stories.

Behind the scenes with our blog

We love to blog about what we’re up to. It’s the best place to find out about our new acquisitions and projects as well as giving you a peek behind the scenes. Our latest blog is a call for your help as we would love to know if you’re keeping a journal about how coronavirus and the lockdown are affecting you. Let us know what you’d like to see a blog on next.

Take me to the blogs!

Exploring our collections

Our first collections were brought together more than 200 years ago and we’ve been adding to them ever since. From art to archaeology, history to industry, the natural and the wider world, they are amongst the UK’s finest with many recognised as nationally and internationally important. You can search our collections online.

If you’re particularly interested in art then check out Art UK. It’s the online home for every public art collection in the UK, including ours.

Accessing Bristol’s archives

Bristol Archives holds almost two million documents which record the history of the city and the surrounding area from the 12th century to the present day. These include minutes, accounts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs and films created by many types of organisations and people.

  • Access maps and images from our collections on the Know Your Place website.
  • View thousands of images in photographic collections on our online catalogue.
  • Access records of Bristol births, marriages and deaths from Anglican and non-conformist / Catholic parish registers (paid subscription needed)

If you’d like to get in touch, we are still taking email enquiries and sharing material from the collections on Twitter and Facebook.

Highlights from the British Empire & Commonwealth Collection

In 2012, the collections of the former British Empire and Commonwealth Museum were transferred to the care of Bristol Museums. Since then, we’ve been working to photograph and digitise some of the vast collection.

Take a look at some of the latest projects we’ve been working on and some of the stories we’ve been able to document through the blog. Highlights and recent exhibitions include:

Share your wildlife sightings

Have you noticed more wildlife in your area? BRERC collects, manages and distributes biodiversity data for the west of England. You can submit your own wildlife sightings through their website and find out about the species in your area. It’s super easy and you don’t have to be an expert at all!


Your donations make a difference

We rely on ticket sales, venue hire and purchases in our shop and cafe for 41% of our income. None of this is possible while our doors are closed due to Covid-19. That’s why donations to our charity, Bristol Museums Development Trust, are more important than ever.

Please consider making a donation today. As always, thank you for your support.

2 comments on “A dose of culture from home

  1. Simon Baker

    A dose of culture is absolutely brilliant.

    Dear Fellow Bristolians

    These collections from high art to tattoos are the best way of throwing off the lock down and immersing yourselves in the riches and variety of our art collections. There is so much to see and to amaze yourselves in these riches and joys. Brilliantly displayed in this website by our wonderful and hard working. Curators.

    I recommend the exhibitions of our outstanding collections of Japanese prints – all on this website.

    To fly the lockdown embrace the art collections of our top-10 National Museum and gallery. And get stuck in to Bristol’ s treasures. Enjoy

    Get stuck into


  2. Mrs Yate

    Mary Yate. I did live in Bristol for a while . But moved to Cheshire.

    These are very interesting.
    Particularly the Sea Mills with the other


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