What just happened?

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


Patrons support: case studies
Ottley Group

The Dance (detail). Pen and black ink, grey wash heightened with white on grey paper.

The Dance (detail). Pen and black ink, grey wash heightened with white on grey paper

The Department of Prints and Drawings contains the national collection of Western prints and drawings and is one of the best collections of its kind in the world.

There are approximately 50,000 drawings and over two million prints dating from the beginning of the fifteenth century up to the present day.

Members of the Ottley Group make an annual donation to the Prints and Drawings Department in support of the acquisition of Old Master and English drawings.

The Ottley Group is named in honour of William Young Ottley (1771 – 1836) who was an amateur artist, pioneering scholar and collector as well as a former Keeper of the Prints and Drawings Department at the British Museum.

More case studies

Portrait of the sculptor Keith Hollingworth (detail), 1981. Handmade paperwork from dyed paper pulp

Vollard Group

The Vollard Group support the Prints and Drawings Department in the acquisition of key modern and contemporary works on paper made after 1945.

Find out more 

Human Tapestry, 2009


With the support of the CaMMEA acquisitions group, the British Museum has collected contemporary art from the Middle East since the 1980s.

Find out more 


For more information on these departmental supporter groups please contact the Patrons Officer on +44 (0)20 7323 8134 or email patrons@britishmuseum.org