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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


World Conservation and Exhibition Centre Storage Moves Team - Volunteers

TWe are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to support the WCEC Storage Moves Team. The WCEC Storage Moves team is responsible for processing the collections of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas and the Department of Asia. This collection includes around 180,000 objects, representing the cultures of the indigenous peoples of four continents. The objects are being packed according to the appropriate pest insect eradication treatment, treated, and then transported to the new store facilities within the WCEC.


The World Conservation and Exhibition Centre (WCEC)

The Centre provides the Museum with world class facilities for visitors and researchers taking conservation, scientific research and collection management to a new level of excellence.

The Museum currently stores its collections across three sites in London: at the main site in Bloomsbury and in two off-site locations. The WCEC now enables the Museum to bring more of the collection back to the Bloomsbury site, including the collection of sensitive organic material.

New on-site facilities provide improved access to the collections, as well as modern, environmentally controlled systems able to maintain the stable conditions necessary for the preservation of objects. These purpose built storage facilities allow the Museum to make the most efficient use of the space available.

Further information about the WCEC project 

This is a great opportunity to get some hands on experience in handling and packing objects as part of an extensive storage project. You’ll also learn about different packing methods for objects and treatment options for objects with potential pest insect infestations.


This opportunity will include:

  • Learning about collections management and preventive conservation
  • Assisting with either dispatching or receiving the collections as part of the WCEC Storage Moves Project
  • Assisting with object handling, packing and photography
  • Supporting the Collections Storage Assistants with store room preventive conservation, housekeeping and Integrated Pest Management procedures
  • Assisting with the completion of object move documentation


How the volunteer role is organised:

  • One day a week (Monday to Friday ) from week beginning 1 June to week ending 18 December
  • You will primarily be based at Orsman Road N1, with occasional days spent at the WCEC (at the British Museum, Bloomsbury) or at Blythe House W14


What we would like from you:

  • Good communication and organisational skills
  • A friendly and helpful nature and you enjoy being part of a team
  • You will ideally have good computer and digital skills or be willing to learn
  • Genuine interest in heritage and conservation
  • Good attention to detail and hand – eye coordination


What you can expect from us:

  • Gain an insight into the activities of the Collections Services department at The British Museum.
  • The opportunity to be part of a collaborative and enthusiastic team.
  • Training in object handling, best practice in storage and Integrated Pest Management
  • The opportunity to support one of the Museum’s biggest storage projects to date.
  • Health and safety training, including manual handling, safe working from height and working with hazardous objects in museum collections.
  • The opportunity to develop skills in handling ethnographic collections.


How to apply

Please complete the Volunteer Enquiry form and send, with a copy of your CV, to volunteers@britishmuseum.org

Closing date for applications: 1 May 2015

Selection session: 13 May 2015