Supporting the British Museum
One of the most frequently visited places in London, the British Museum has been an educational hub for hundreds of years. To keep the museum functioning at its best and ensure its growth in the future, the museums relies upon membership involvement and volunteer work to continue its role in involving and educating both community members and the worldwide public.
The British Museum relies upon community participation in order to keep the museum free for patrons and provide the best experience for visitors. Locals can become involved through three different levels of support: Patron status, Member status, or by volunteering time at the museum itself. Patron status is achieved through a yearly donation of £2000, and offers such benefits as invitations to special evening events, priority entry for special exhibits, and recognition. People can also become Members through donations of £50 a year, and they are rewarded through free entry into special exhibitions as well as being able to use the exclusive Members’ Room. For no cost at all, community members can become a part of the Museum through volunteering their time. Current openings include volunteer work for someone to help inform patrons about the museums’ Hands On Programme, which allows for visitors to handle museum objects themselves. Volunteer work is vital to the museum because it provides support for administrative staff, aids in educating the public, and gives community members the chance to be a vital part in the workings of the museum. Without the support of Patrons, Members, and Volunteers, the museum would cease to operate successfully.
Supporting the British Museum is vital to the wellbeing of London because the museum is a place where visitors can learn about British and global history and interact with relics from the past. The museum also plays an important role in educating the public through free educational material for schools as well as museum visits for students. Families can take part in family events, and children are encouraged to view new exhibits through free admission. The museum also works in partnerships with local universities to provide accredited and non-accredited courses, and they are currently offering courses in 18th Century studies, Asian art, and World Arts and Artefacts. Because of London’s diverse population, the museum also offers a variety of materials for ESOL education as well. The museum offers unique experiences for education that would be hard to come by otherwise.
The British Museum is also involved in numerous research efforts that help educate beyond the local London population. Their 2 million-item collection is available for searching via their site, which opens up the museum to enthusiasts worldwide. They support researchers through their library and archives, which are available both locally and via the Internet. Their online research catalogs provide analysis, photographs, and bibliographies offer in depth views for profiled collections. The museum is also continuously involved in excavation projects to bring new items to the museum, and they are currently working on excavations at Amara West, an ancient town in the Sudan. The museum is currently working on fundraising to acquire the Lacock Cup, which is a unique silver medieval cup that demonstrates silver craftsmanship in medieval England.
Support, be it financially or through volunteer work, is vital to the British Museum because of the museum’s function as an educational hub in London. Only through the backing of patrons can the museum continue to be a place where adults, children, students, and researchers continue to receive a free education and be able to have first hand experiences with history.