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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



Giving vital support
to the work of
the Museum

Volunteers contribute to the work of the Museum in many different ways, from engaging with visitors in the galleries, to supporting the work of the Museum’s curatorial, learning or administrative departments.

Volunteers at the British Museum

Behind the Scenes opportunities

We have an opportunity for a volunteer to get involved in the preparations for a major move of African collections to the main Bloomsbury site.

Over the next two years more than 75,000 objects will be moved to a new storage facility in the World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre (WCEC). This is a great opportunity to gain hands on experience of museum documentation, pictorial, and archive work in support of this move.

Further information about the WCEC 

This opportunity could/is likely to include

  • Supporting the curatorial team in upgrading the documentation of African collections using departmental and central archives, pictorial collections and the Anthropology Library
  • Supporting the preparations for the move of African collections by assisting with labelling objects and scanning original documents
  • Learning to use the Museum’s database system (Merlin) to enhance object records

What we would like from you

  • You will have an interest in African art history, anthropology, or a related subject
  • You will be well organised and be confident in communicating with a wide range of people
  • You will ideally have good computer and digital skills and previous experience of archival work, or be willing to learn
  • You will be able to commit to 1 day a week for a period of 6 months, from 2 February 2015

What you can expect from us

  • You will have the opportunity to gain experience of different aspects of work within the Africa section of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
  • You will be part of a friendly and professional team and will be encouraged to participate in wider museum activities
  • You will learn to use the Museum’s database system

How to apply

Please complete the Volunteer Enquiry form and send, with a copy of your CV, to volunteers@britishmuseum.org. Your covering letter should be no longer than one side of A4. You must be available for an informal meeting on Monday 5 January 2015.

Closing date for applications: Friday 12 December 2014.

 Download the volunteer enquiry form