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British Empire and Commonwealth Collection

In 2012, the collections of the former British Empire and Commonwealth Museum (BECM) were transferred to the care of Bristol Museums.

Here you’ll find blog posts, events and stories related to this major collection, which covers a wide range of material relating to the countries of the British Empire and the Commonwealth. Find out more about the collection.


Film digitisation project: Re-discovering archive footage

by Jayne Pucknell, archivist with the British Empire & Commonwealth Collection

We’re pleased to say we have now completed our film digitisation project! We have been working with our partners at Nulight Studios, to scan and digitally preserve so…


Cataloguing the archives of the Royal British Legion Kenya Branch

by Matthew Hallows, MA Curating student at the University of the West of England

Matt spent his placement with the British Empire & Commonwealth Collection. He helped to catalogue an extensive collection of documents from the Royal British Leg…


Rolling with the punches

By Laura Dow, Volunteer Cataloguer and Nicky Sugar, Archivist
Laura and Nicky describe the range of emotions stirred by the Dorothy Myers photographs in the British Empire & Commonwealth Collection.
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Penelope Chetwode and ‘the perfect ADC’ (personal assistant)

by Pat Ellingham, Archives volunteer

Our volunteer, Pat Ellingham, found this story of the young Penelope Chetwode (later Lady Betjeman) in the photograph albums of Geoffrey Kellie, part of the British Empire & Commonwealth Collection.

There’s a…


Digitising the British Empire & Commonwealth film collection

by Jayne Pucknell, Archivist

The digitising of some of our most important or unusual films from the British Empire and Commonwealth film collection started in July 2019, and will run to autumn 2020.

We have around 2,000 films in the British Emp…