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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.


Theatre Royal archives take centre stage with new online catalogue

by Anne Lovejoy, Bristol Old Vic project archivist

The catalogue of archives relating to Bristol’s Theatre Royal (known as Bristol Old Vic today) is now available online on Bristol Archives’ online catalogue.

As you may have read last summ…


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.


Dolls made by a freed (manumitted) woman in Grenada

by Sue Giles, senior curator for World Cultures

In 2012, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and Bristol Archives took on the collections of the British Empire & Commonwealth Museum (BECM). There are some real gems in the collection, and we are s…


Celebrating the multicultural beauty of Bristol

By Lacey Trotman, Digital Apprentice

At the beginning of the year, one morning in a staff meeting, it was revealed that Bristol residents speak a total of 91 languages. Now that’s an impressive statistic for a city of just 428,100 people (2011 c…


Penguin collected on Captain Scott’s fateful Terra Nova expedition

By Bonnie Griffin, Natural History Curator

I’m delighted to announce that a penguin collected on Captain Scott’s fateful Terra Nova expedition (1910-1913) has been unearthed in the Natural History collection at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.…


How would you like to own these pictures?

By Trevor Coombs, Documentation Assistant – Fine Art

Earlier this year, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery licensed 2,300 digital images from the Fine Art collection to Bridgeman Images to sell on our behalf.

We’ve had a commercial rela…


Figurehead from the ship Importer on display at M Shed

Back in 1980, the museum acquired a ship’s figurehead from the Bristol Shiplovers’ Society. At the time we couldn’t discover any more about it, but in the last year or so we’ve been able to piece together more of the story.


Conserving Bristol’s Fine Art displays

Work is well underway refurbishing the Old Masters gallery by taking down the old damask wall covering and giving it a new coat of paint, as well as repairing the ceiling and dealing with various other challenges that old buildings present.