Commission photography

New photography

If you don’t see an image that you want on the British Museum website you can order new photography from us.

Photographs are delivered as colour Jpeg images, with a longest edge of 300mm, at 300 dpi. For most photographs this is adequate for reproduction to A4.

Commercial photographs are available in larger file sizes. Contact the BM Images picture library for details

Cost (excluding VAT:

  • £60 for two-dimensional objects
  • £50 for cuneiform tablets, coins or medals
  • £60 for both sides of a cuneiform tablet, coin or medal
  • £85 for three-dimensional objects and groups of coins or medals
  • £120 for both sides of a group of coins or medals (two separate images)
  • Delivery of existing images is £40 for up to 3 images and £15 per additional image

Images can be sent via a secure web link for no delivery charge on payment of licence fee.


Photographs will not be supplied if:

  • the object in question is unavailable because it is on loan to another institution, or if it is being conserved (in which case we might not be able to access it).
  • the Museum does not hold the copyright of the object (for example, works by a living artist).
  • there are reasons connected with the security, preservation or particular cultural sensitivity of an object (as for example may apply to human remains or objects sacred to living communities) that lead us to conclude the object should not be photographed in the public interest.

How to commission new photography

To request an image, please contact the BM Images picture library by email with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Details of the object you wish to be photographed (if this is a British Museum object, include the object name and number)
  • View (front, back, element of interest)
  • Other specialist requirements/notes
  • Use (please describe briefly what the photograph is to be used for. If this is a publication, enter the expected print run and the publication date).

For both commercial and non-commercial use, email:

Commission 3D photographs

While we do not currently offer a 3D imaging service, we may be able to fulfil orders for commissioned 3D photographs of objects, depending on availability of resources and scheduling restrictions.
If you would be interested in commissioning a 3D photograph of an object, please inquire by e-mailing

The commission will incur a fee and the Museum’s general copyright and permissions policies will apply to the use of the resulting 3D photograph and object printout.