Study room regulations

The Study Areas are open by appointment, Monday from 14.00 to 16.30 pm, and Tuesday - Friday from 10.00 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 16.30, for visitors wishing to consult the library and archive or to examine objects which are in the Study Collections. (Please note: objects will be returned to store from 12.50 and 16.30 onwards).

We regret that it may be necessary in certain circumstances to limit the number of items viewed.

The library is for reference only, and books cannot be borrowed.

Visitors are requested to observe the following regulations:

The visitor must provide proof of identity and current address, which will be photocopied.

The visitor must complete a Study Areas form, listing the objects and archival/library material that they are consulting.

The visitor must put all bags, coats and cases into the secure cloakroom before entering the Study Areas.

Smoking, using mobile phones, eating, drinking or chewing gum is not allowed in the Study Areas.    

The visitor must remain within the study and reception areas unless accompanied by a member of the departmental staff, and when examining an object will be supervised at all times.

The visitor must take particular care not to damage or impair any object or archival/library material in the collection; objects will be moved by a member of departmental staff. For certain categories of material visitors may be required to wear gloves; facilities for washing hands will be provided.

The making of rubbings or other impressions by visitors is not permitted.

Please notify the Department of any requests to publish material. A record of all objects that have been studied will be entered into the Collections Online database. The Department no longer issues exclusive permissions to publish, and regards the entries on Collections Online as sufficient public notification of ongoing research on the collection.

Photography is allowed at the discretion of the Department, and a copyright waiver form must be completed before photography commences. Digital copies of any photographs taken should be provided for the Department, either downloaded at the end of your visit or sent shortly after, in the following format:

  • Photograph file names in the format ‘EA1106’. For multiple photographs of the same object, name files as ‘EA1106_a’, ‘EA1106_b’ etc. For papyrus sheets, follow the format ‘EA9901-32’ and ‘EA9901-32_a’ etc.
  • Photographs should be saved as .tiff, with LZW compression (individual files should not exceed 20MB).
  • Photographs should be correctly orientated.
  • Photographs should be resized at 300dpi (cameras often default at 72dpi).
  • A scale should be included in every photograph.
  • Please do not email the photographs, but send them on a CD/DVD, or transfer through an online ftp-service. These photographs will be incorporated into the online collections database, thus improving documentation of the collection for all scholars. The British Museum retains copyright of the images, but you will be acknowledged as photographer in the copyright notes.

If a visitor wishes to bring an object of their own into a Study area for comparison, they should obtain the prior consent of the Department.

The visitor may not leave the Study area until the supervising officer is satisfied that all objects and material examined by them are in good order.

In the case of an emergency evacuation of the building, visitors will be requested to leave the Department as quickly as possible, and staff will give them every assistance to ensure their safety. The Study Room is operated under the Museum’s health and safety policy, a copy of which can be consulted on request.

Infringement of the regulations may, at the discretion of the Keeper or Assistant Keepers, result in exclusion from the Study Areas.