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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


Young Friends
Christmas card competition


Young Friends have the chance to design one of the British Museum’s Christmas cards for 2013.

The Museum is looking for an inspirational design that people will want to buy as a Christmas card. Cards sold in the shop help contribute to funds that support the very important work of the Museum and are sold to people from all across the world.

Good luck to all entrants, get creative and enjoy!

Entry deadline

Entries must be received by 17.00 on Monday 14 January 2013. Winners will be announced by Friday 18 January 2013.

The British Museum in the snow.

Find your inspiration

What does winter mean to you?

Your inspiration can be anything related to the British Museum – the objects in the collection, an aspect of the building, the Museum’s winter landscape in Bloomsbury. Think ‘Narnia comes to the British Museum’...what magic takes place when the Museum opens its doors to a winter wonderland?

Do some research

Head to the British Museum, if you can, for inspiration or to the website to search the collections online.

Get creative

Create a picture based on your adventure and the things you see at the Museum. If you have a camera, try experimenting with photogaphy – try taking close up shots of an object or perhaps an aspect of the building during the winter months. You don't have to be restricted to using a camera. Your entry can be in any medium – a watercolour, collage, sketch, oil, charcoal printing – whatever you think works best for your idea.

How to enter

Entry requirements

The picture must be on A4 or A5 paper, either landscape or portrait. Please do not include any dates on the design (for example 'December 2013').

On the back of your picture, please write:

  • A title for your picture
  • One sentence explaining your image and why you designed it
  • Your name and age
  • Your Young Friends Membership number

Ask your parent/guardian to complete consent form and send it in with your entry.
 Download consent form

Send your entry to:

Young Friends Christmas card competition
The British Museum Friends
Great Russell Street

Entry deadline

Entries must be received by 17.00 on Monday 14 January 2013. Winners will be announced by Friday 18 January 2013.

Please take a photocopy of your picture as unfortunately we won’t be able to return your original entry.

Terms and conditions

See the full terms and conditions