Facilities and services

The Department of Prints and Drawings is devoted to serving the public interest, which it is able to do in many different ways.

The most important ways are through the exhibition programme, by which selections from the collection are put on show for periods of three or four months, and through the Study Room, where any visitor can ask to see any object in the collection on demand (there is only one item that is restricted on the grounds of its extreme fragility).

Opening hours

Monday-Friday: 10.00-13.00 and 14.15-16.00

You can find the department on the fourth floor of the Museum, next to the Prints and Drawings gallery, (Room 90).

Other public services:

We do our best to answer public enquiries by post, fax or email. Since we do not have the staff or expertise to answer all possible questions, we can only cope with enquiries that are about areas or objects that are covered in our own area of collecting.

Group visits

We can help teachers who wish to teach in front of objects in the collection, by arranging for them to bring parties of their students on group visits to the Study Room where we can put out small selections of drawings and prints chosen by themselves.

Object identification

We offer a service to try to identify Western works of art on paper that belong to and are brought in by members of the public, and saying what we can to help them.

Photography

Digital images are available through the Collection database online.

Small images can be downloaded by right-clicking on an image, or high resolution versions can be supplied by email. There is no charge for non-commercial use of existing images, but all images must be credited: © Trustees of the British Museum.

To commission new photography or to use images for commercial purposes please contact sales@bmimages.com  

You may take pictures of works on display in our exhibition galleries, unless they have been lent to us and the lenders have refused permission for public photography. We do not have the facilities or staff to enable outside photographers to take photographs of works in the Study room.

Press, television and film companies should contact the Museum Press Office: communications@britishmuseum.org 

Borrowing

The department lends to between 60 and 70 exhibitions every year by responsible bodies and organisations in the United Kingdom and abroad. Some of these loans are tours mounted by the department in collaboration with partner bodies, but the great majority are of one or more works to exhibitions whose organisers wish to borrow from us.

More detailed information has been produced to help those who are planning exhibitions.

Advice for potential borrowers (pdf)

Teaching and fellowships

The department offers practical training in the understanding of prints and drawings through Fellowships and Internships.