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The British Museum Podcast

The British Museum is famous for its objects, which represent over 2 million years of human history and culture. The objects speak to us thanks to the experts who have helped to tell their stories for well over two centuries. This podcast takes a fresh look at some of the tales that have shaped the Museum’s story – both famous and less well known.

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The Museum podcast #14: Venetian maps and Volunteers.

This month Hugo, Sushma (pre-furlough) and Sian talk about how lockdown is affecting them and their work. Curator Sarah Vowles gives us some in-depth insight into a monumental map of Venice made over 500 years ago by Jacopo de’ Barbari (a zoomable image of which can be found on our revamped Collection online at britishmuseum.org/collection). Volunteer Mariu Huriaga talks about her experience of giving tours all around the Museum for over two decades.


7 May 2020

Rank #1

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The Museum podcast special: Women of Troy

Alexandra Villing, curator of the BP exhibition Troy: myth and reality talks with classicist Natalie Haynes about the wives, mothers, seers, queens, and goddesses at the heart of the Trojan myth. The BP exhibition Troy: myth and reality is open until 8 March. To book your tickets visit: https://bit.ly/2Rj2Ula


22 Jan 2020

Rank #2

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The Museum Podcast Christmas special: 12 objects for Christmas

From us to you, a very British Museum Christmas gift: we invited twelve colleagues across the Museum to tell us about their favourite objects and gathered their responses into a special Christmas compendium. Hear all about the objects that they find inspiring, and the stories behind them.  Sushma Jansari – the Mathura lion capital (Room 33) Elizabeth Morrison –the Folkton Drums (Room 51) Sian Toogood –  Greek slingshot (Room 69) Ros Winton – Ancient Egyptian model (Room 65) Tess Sanders – the Assyrian Lion hunt reliefs (Room 10) Lee Roberts – Painted Japanese screen (tigers crossing a river) (Room 92) Nick Harris – Japanese hand grenade casings in (Room 94) Francesca Hillier – Palmerston gold cups (Room 47) Alfie Meek – the Alfie lions (Room 47) Russ McKeown –  Portrait of late director Lord Wolfenden (not on display) Richard Wakeman – the Vindolanda tablets (Room 50) Hugo Chapman – Samuel Palmer watercolour (Prints and Drawings Study Room)


18 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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The Museum podcast #10: Happy New Year!

Hugo and Sushma kick off 2020 with an interview with the Museum’s director, Hartwig Fischer. In the archives, Francesca and Sian take a look at the history of the Hirayama Paper conservation studio.


1 Jan 2020

Rank #4

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The Museum Podcast episode #12: WOMEN!

In honour of Women’s History month Hugo and Sushma are exploring how women have interacted with the museum since its opening in 1759. In the archives, Sian and Francesca discuss some of the earliest female researchers and scholars, as well as a libel case relating to the much-slandered pioneering feminist Victoria Woodhull who ran for the American Presidency in 1872. Hugo chats with Alexandra (otherwise known as Sally) Fletcher about her archaeological career and its connection with pioneering archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon.


4 Mar 2020

Rank #5

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The Museum podcast #13: All about accessibility

Unlucky for some, episode 13 of the Museum podcast sees the Museum closed for the first time since the war, but fear not – the podcast soldiers on. This month Hugo and Sushma look at an area of work that is dear to all of our hearts: equality and diversity. Curator Gareth Bereton presents the object of the month: the beautiful and enigmatic Standard of Ur. There’s no archive section this month as Francesca has been poorly,  so we wish her a hearty get well soon.  


1 Apr 2020

Rank #6

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The Museum Podcast #11: LGBTQ+ histories, stone tools and the Museum rifle club.

This month Hugo and Sushma meet Stuart Frost – the Museum’s Head of Interpretation and Volunteers – to discuss how we create narratives around the collection and how volunteers are vital in supporting the work of the Museum. In the archives, Sian and Francesca look at the history of clubs and societies for Museum staff. For object of the month, Jill Cook – Deputy Keeper of Prehistory and Europe – talks about a stone tool from the original collection of the Museum’s founder Sir Hans Sloane.


5 Feb 2020

Rank #7

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The Museum podcast #9 Season’s greetings from the British Museum

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, so Sushma and Sian (filling in for Hugo) are serving array of festive delights from the Museum. Sushma talks to Tim Clarke, Head of the Japanese Section as he looks back at almost four decades of work at the British Museum, while Sian and Francesca head back to the archives to check out Christmas cards from the 30s.


4 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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The Museum Podcast #8: A is for Amazon, B is for blueprints, C is for communism

Laura Osorio Sunnucks, head of the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research, joins Hugo and Sushma to talk about Amazonian objects. In the Money gallery, Tom Hockenhull introduces a communist poster from 1990, and Francesca and Sian are back in the archives to explore Museum blueprints.


6 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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The Museum Podcast #7: Innovative exhibitions, international gold and noisy children

This month Hugo and Sushma are talking to Belinda Crerar about how the Museum uses changing displays in Room 3 to respond to what is happening in the world today. We also raid the archives to chart the history of children’s visits to the Museum, and as Object of the month Venetia Porter talks about the Salcombe Hoard – an impressive discovery of gold and weapons from the Bronze Age.  


2 Oct 2019

Rank #10