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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


Arched Room


269.8 m2

Filming hours

  • After 16.00 Monday – Friday

Making an application 

Consult the curators 

Recommend this location

Arched Room
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    Arched Room – birds eye view

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    Arched Room – display cases


Arched Room

The Arched Room was built between 1837 and 1839. It formed the ground floor of the northwest extension to the Museum building designed by Sir Robert Smirke. The room was used for book storage until the British Library moved to a new building in St Pancras in 1998.

The Arched Room is now used by the Department of the Middle East as a Students' room, departmental library and archive. It also stores the reserve collection of cuneiform tablets.

  • Lighting restrictions: Only cold-lamp/ low-level lighting permitted