What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Principal Librarians and Directors of the British Museum

Initially the head of the Museum held the title of 'Principal Librarian', from 1898 this was altered to 'Director and Principal Librarian' and from 1973 (on the separation of the British Library) 'Director'.

  • 2002 (Robert) Neil MacGregor 
  • 1992 Dr Robert (Geoffrey William) Anderson
  • 1977 Sir David (MacKenzie) Wilson
  • 1974 Sir John Pope-Hennessy
  • 1968 Sir John (Frederick) Wolfenden
    (later Lord Wolfenden)
  • 1959 Sir Frank (Chalton) Francis
  • 1950 Sir Thomas (Downing) Kendrick
  • 1936 Sir (Edgar) John Forsdyke
  • 1931 Sir George (Francis) Hill
  • 1909 Sir Frederic (George) Kenyon
  • 1888 Sir Edward Maunde Thompson
  • 1873 Sir Edward (Augustus) Bond
  • 1866 John Winter Jones
  • 1856 Sir Anthony (Antonio) Panizzi
  • 1827 Sir Henry Ellis
  • 1799 Joseph Planta
  • 1776 Dr Charles Morton
  • 1772 Dr Matthew Maty
  • 1756 Dr Gowin Knight
Neil MacGregor

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum