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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


Community Partnerships Team - Volunteers

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to support the Community Partnerships team with their busy schedule of programmes.

The Community Partnership team works with local audiences to help build and strengthen partnerships between the Museum and its local community, in particular supporting those who face barriers to visiting. Programmes range from supported visits for older adults and training sessions for group leaders to activity packed weekends for supplementary schools and large scale special exhibition views for all community partners.

This programme could/is likely to include

  • Engaging with diverse communities with a range of perceptions of, and attitudes to, the Museum.
  • Supporting programmes delivered by staff members to community audiences on and off the Museum site.
  • Helping staff with setting up activity spaces, meeting and greeting community guests, sign posting around the museum.
  • Collecting evaluative data and photography and film permissions forms during events and programmes.
  • Supporting staff, artists, photographers and facilitators in delivering creative activities to local audiences at large scale events.
  • Engaging audiences in discussions about the Museum and its collection. Often using handling objects to trigger people’s interest and thoughts.

How the programme is organised

  • Volunteers are asked to sign up to a flexible rota and we ask that they engage with at least 1 session each month.
  • The rota is organised every few months
  • Sessions take place both on weekdays and weekends.

What we would like from you

  • To have a keen interest in the museum sector and informal learning in museums.
  • To be enthusiastic about engaging local audiences with the Museum collection.
  • To enjoy interacting with diverse audiences and be sensitive to individuals’ varying needs.
  • Good communication skills and confidence in liaising with a wide range of people.
  • To be happy to travel to offsite activity.
  • To envision being able to commit to a minimum of 1 session per month and be engaged with the programme for at least 6 months.
  • To participate flexibly (including weekends and evenings) to support the Community Partnerships team.

What you can expect from us

  • The opportunity to gain experience of engaging with a range of local audiences.
  • Gain an insight into the work we do with over 500 community organisations
  • The opportunity to be part of a creative and enthusiastic team, including artists and facilitators.
  • The opportunity to develop skills in using handling objects to engage local audiences.
  • The opportunity to support exclusive previews of the special exhibitions.

How to apply

  • Please complete the Volunteer Enquiry form and attach your CV.
  • Closing date for applications: Friday, 30th January 2015.
  • Selection session: Friday, 27th February 2015.