Contents History 1 Foundation 2 Departments 3 Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan 3.1 Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities 3.2 Department of the Middle East 3.3
Contents Department of Prints and Drawings 3.4 Department of Asia 3.5 Department of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas 3.6 Department of Coins and Medals 3.7 Department of Prehistory and Europe 3.8 Department of Conservation and Scientific Research 3.9
The British Museum was established in 1753 , largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane .
Sloane’s collection consisted of around 71,000 objects of all kinds including some 40,000 printed books, 7,000 manuscripts, and antiquities from Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Americas .
The museum was opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury.
On 7 June 1753 , King George II gave his formal assent to the Act of Parliament which established the British Museum.
The Foundation Act, added two other libraries to the Sloane collection: the Cottonian Library and the Harleian library . They were joined in 1757 by the Royal Library.
Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan
The size of the Egyptian collections now stands at over 110,000 objects .
7 Egyptian galleries can display only 4% of its Egyptian holdings.
The second-floor galleries have a selection of the Museum's collection of 140 mummies and coffins , the largest outside Cairo.
Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities
The Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities has one of the world's largest collections of antiquities with over 100,000 objects.
The Greek collection includes important sculpture from the Parthenon in Athens , as well as elements of two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World .
Department of the Middle East
With approximately 330,000 objects in the collection, the British Museum has the greatest collection of Mesopotamian antiquities outside Iraq.
The collections represent the civilisations of the ancient Near East and its adjacent areas: Mesopotamia, Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucasus, parts of Central Asia, Syria, Palestine.
Department of Prints and Drawings
There are approximately 50,000 drawings and over 2 million prints.
The collection of drawings covers the period from the 14th century to the present.
There are magnificent groups of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Claude .
Department of Asia
Its collections of over 75,000 objects covers the material culture of the whole Asian continent: the collection of sculpture from the Indian subcontinent, an outstanding collection of Chinese antiquities, paintings, the most comprehensive collection of Japanese pre-20th century art.
Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
Over 350,000 objects spanning 2 million years tells the story of the history of man.
The African Galleries display 600 objects from the greatest permanent collection of African arts and culture in the world.
Department of Coins and Medals
There are approximately 9,000 coins , medals and banknotes on display around the British Museum.
Department of Prehistory and Europe
It includes some of objects made by humans 2 million years ago; the art and archaeology of Europe from the earliest times to the present day, including the history of Britain under Roman occupation.
Department of Conservation and Scientific Research
Conservation has 6 specialist areas: ceramics & glass; metals; organic material (including textiles); stone, wall paintings and mosaics; Eastern pictorial art and Western pictorial art.