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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. 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.

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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.

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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.

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Transforming Bristol’s Fine Art displays

The challenge continues! We’re transforming Bristol’s Fine Art displays – the Old Masters gallery at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is now closed for refurbishment, reopening in May 2016.

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The lost lioness returns!

Whilst rummaging through the natural history stores hidden below Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, we came across a lion skull from the research collection which had an interesting old label, handwritten in copperplate script.

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Toy Appeal: What do you have hiding in your attic?

With a touch of festive time travel, do you remember what you once hoped to find under the tree on Christmas morning? Were you dreaming of Lego, Scalextric, or the Millennium Falcon? Or was it Andy Pandy, The Muppets, or Care Bears?

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The beautiful Broughton Herbarium is now online

The Broughton Herbarium is a collection of beautiful pressed plants from Bristol and Jamaica collected by Dr Arthur Broughton (1758–1796), a local physician in the 18th century.