Taking photographs in the Museum

Hand-held cameras, including cameras fitted with flash bulbs or electronic flash units, may be used for private purposes in the galleries unless otherwise indicated.

Private photography in the galleries requiring the use of a stand, special lighting or other equipment is only permitted by prior arrangement with the Broadcast Unit. You must apply for permission at least ten working days beforehand, indicating which objects you propose to photograph and the galleries in which the objects are situated.

Photographs may be taken in study rooms with permission of study room staff but please note that some parts of the collection may not be photographed for reasons connected with security or preservation. Light sensitive material must be photographed without flash. The use of tripods and other photographic equipment is not permitted.

The resulting images may only be used for personal research and private study, as well as for any allowed uses under the new exceptions to copyright law. The British Museum must always be properly acknowledged wherever the photographs are used with the following line: Photo © [photographer]. Taken courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.

Please note that you will not be able to use or license these images for any other purpose. If you require images of objects for any use other than personal research and private study (or any allowed uses under the exceptions to copyright law) you will have to license them from BM Images. This may include commissioning new photography if images of the objects do not already exist.

The British Museum cannot guarantee that any photographed content will not include third-party copyright. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether any such copyright exists and whether any additional permissions may be needed.

The Broadcast Unit deals with all professional and commercial requests to photograph exhibits and locations within the Museum. Commercial or professional photography must be arranged in advance through the Broadcast Unit.

Contact the Broadcast Unit by emailing

Purchasing images

For all commercial use requests and all licensing enquiries, please contact BM Images

A selection of art prints is available to buy from the British Museum Online Shop.

Commissioning photography

Requests for new photography carried out by our in-house photographers should be directed to

Non-commercial image service

The Museum offers free use of images for non-commercial uses. Please see full terms and conditions for use of images.

Find the image you want using one of the searches below and select the Use digital image button.

Search the collection database online