Stories

From prehistoric times to the present day, explore stories about Bristol and the world through the city’s objects, art and people.

World Wildlife: Extinction Voices

We have veiled Alfred the Gorilla and 31 other animals in our World Wildlife gallery so we can begin to comprehend a world without these extraordinary creatures. All 32 animals are threatened with high to extreme risk of extinction.

19 Black Bristol women who've made a difference

Pioneering, passionate and powerful, these women have helped change our city for the better. From artists to activists, from councillors to carnivalistas, these are names you need to know.

Early Black Presence in Bristol

Black people have lived in Bristol for over four centuries. We don’t know much about Black residents before the city’s merchants began legally trading people as slaves in 1698. However, records at Bristol Archives and elsewhere show that black people lived and worked here least a century before then.

Bristol Museum's Romany wagon and the power of museum objects

The Romany wagon (or caravan) is one of the most popular objects at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. For some people, it’s particularly special because it evokes memories from the time it was lived in. Here Amber Druce, Curator of History, takes us through what we know of its story so far.

Bristol's Windrush Generation

‘Windrush’ is a term used to describe the mass migration of people invited from the Caribbean colonies into Great Britain, just after the Second World War.

Bristol's Black History

Find out about Bristol’s Black History with Bristol Museums. Who were the first Black people in Bristol? What are the city’s links to Somalia? What are the legacies of the Slave Trade? We’re gathering stories and showcasing voices that a shine light on this often hidden part of Bristol’s past.

Somalis in Bristol

Somali is the third most commonly spoken language in Bristol. Around 20,000 people of Somali heritage live in the city. Where have we come from and why are we here?

Bristol and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The slave trade was part of the network of trade which existed between Britain, West Africa and the Caribbean. Between 1501 and 1866, over 12 million Africans are estimated to have been exported to the New World, around 2 million of whom probably died en route.

Blood on the Bricks: More than Colston?

Bristol’s involvement in the Transatlantic slave trade and the great wealth acquired from it brings uncomfortable questions about how we deal with our city’s past. Tayo Lewin-Turner explores the stories that lurk behind some of the grand Georgian buildings in Bristol…

Migration: Joining and Leaving Bristol

Migration is not something new. The flow of people joining and leaving Bristol has helped make our city what it is. From ancient Roman settlements to today’s Syrian resettlements, people have been making new homes beside the Avon for thousands of years. Many have also left Bristol, crossing vast oceans to seek fortune and freedom in faraway lands.

St Pauls Carnival

Bristol’s longest-running street festival is more than just a carnival. For many, it’s part of their very identity. How did St Pauls Carnival start? And what does it mean to those whose lives it has shaped?

The Bristol Bus Boycott

Racial discrimination was entirely legal in Britain right up to the late 1960s. The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 was the nation’s first black-led campaign against it. It marked a new chapter in the struggle for racial equality in Bristol and the UK.

Tales from the Ark-hive: Six fascinating stories from the natural history stores

Working with curator Rhian Rowson, Bristol University researcher Rachel Murray spent time in the natural history store at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Here she uncovers some of the stories behind the collection…

Banksy and Bristol Museums

Find out more about Banksy and Bristol Museums – see what’s on display at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and M Shed and read about the 2009 exhibition Banksy versus Bristol Museum.

Bristol and the Transatlantic Slave Trade: Myths and Truths

The Transatlantic Slave Trade is a dark area of Bristol’s history, and it’s important we can understand the city’s role in it. Do you know your fact from your myth?