All of our sites are currently closed to support the fight against the spread of coronavirus. All public events are cancelled until the end of July. Please check individual event pages for further details about refunds. Bristol Archives will still offer a limited enquiries service. Thank you for bearing with us during this time. If you’d like to support us, please consider making a donation.
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. They can be seen on display across all our museums, in our stores or on our online collections search.
Here you can find out more about Bristol Museums’ collections – explore stories, read blog posts and see what’s on.
There’s always plenty of behind-the-scenes work happening at the museum. Collections staff are often to be found busy beavering away in stores ensuring our objects are correctly documented and cared for.
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.
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.
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…
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…