6 Aug 2019

Researching Birmingham and the British Empire & Building on the Work of ‘The Past is Now’.

Hello, my name is Shahmima Akhtar and I did a Midlands4Cities Innovation Placement at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from April to June 2019, after submitting my PhD at the University of Birmingham and before starting my postdoc. 

My PhD looked at exhibitions of the Irish in World’s Fairs in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Britain and the United States.  Read More...

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24 Jul 2019

Pedestrian diversion to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

From Monday 29th July until 28 October 2019, there will be a pedestrian diversion to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery - but don't worry there is a detour in place that will only take a few minutes to walk!   

We apologies for the inconvenience of you having to take this detour. We are worth taking those extra few minutes to get to though! Read More...

12 Jul 2019

Thinktank Signal Box Cafe - Ask the boss

We proudly launched the Signal Box Café at Thinktank a little while back. To give you a better idea of what to expect from our new family eatery we spoke to Daniel Wattrus, the Food and Beverage Manager at Thinktank and asked him what was new.

"The whole space is much more attractive and welcoming, it’s brighter with comfortable new furniture and it feels much more part of the surrounding galleries. Read More...

11 Jun 2019

Volunteering Across Birmingham Museums Trust

Hello, my name is Stefanie and I have managed to volunteer at four different Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) sites! My background is in archaeology, history, museum studies and teaching languages. I moved to Birmingham last year, so I am still quite new to the area. When I started volunteering at BMT earlier this year, everyone made me feel welcome and a part of this local community.

As a volunteer Learning Resource Assistant at Blakesley Hall, I volunteer once a week and am involved in lots of aspects of public programming: from cutting shapes in preparation for school visits to assisting the Learning Officer during workshops. But I also help to develop new ways to engage visitors – my current project is around the gardens at Blakesley Hall. Read More...

6 Jun 2019

The dinosaurs in your garden

The dinosaurs first arose in the Late Triassic period about 225m years ago. The dinosaur group has three main lineages: the huge Sauropodomorphs such as Diplodocus, the herbivorous Ornithischians such as Triceratops and the (mostly) carnivorous Theropods, which include Velociraptors and Tyrannosaurus rex. We all know that the dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the cretaceous period about 66 million years ago. However, modern birds are the direct descendants of a group of small carnivorous dinosaurs but it took a long time for all the experts to agree.

In 1860 near Solnhofen in Bavaria, Germany a very odd-looking fossil was discovered. It looked like a small carnivorous dinosaur with wings and feathers. It had a mouth with teeth, claws on the hands and a long tail. They named it Archaeopteryx. Experts at the time agreed that this was the earliest known example of the prehistoric bird. However, they disagreed on what animal it had evolved from. Read More...

5 Jun 2019

Volunteering at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Hi I'm Robert and I have just put down some of my thoughts and experiences of being a volunteer at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG). I have been a regular visitor to BMAG since the mid-1960s as I have always loved looking at, and learning about, all forms of art.

When I had the opportunity to volunteer, BMAG was top of my list! I was delighted to join the team as a volunteer, just over a year ago. For my first volunteer role I helped out with the ‘Dippy on Tour’ exhibition in the Gas Hall, evoking memories of a trip to the Natural History Museum with my sons when they were seven and four. We had so many visitors and everyone loved Dippy. Read More...

4 Jun 2019

CreateSpace – Arts for Wellbeing

“Makes you feel good!”

“Lovely people and atmosphere”

3 Jun 2019

Volunteering with the Works on Paper Collection

Hello. My name is Izzy and I have been volunteering at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) for seven months. I am part of the Works on Paper Project, which has an end goal of digitising and inventorying all of the works on paper in the collection including paintings, sketches and prints.


31 May 2019

Happy Volunteers’ Week 2019

It is the 1st June and National Volunteers’ Week is upon us! This is an important week in the year when we make a massive noise about all of the brilliant work our volunteers do. 

On a daily basis Birmingham Museums is supported by wonderful people who volunteer their time with us.  Read More...

24 May 2019

Dementia Friendly Tours: The times they are a-changing

Hi, I’m Louise and I work as part of the Museum Enabler team at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG). Previously I worked at Soho House where in 2016 I delivered monthly Dementia Cafes. I really enjoyed delivering these access specific tours and wanted to create a similar programme at BMAG. At Soho I named the sessions Dementia Cafes because that is what similar sessions had been referred to elsewhere, but as the programme progressed I realised that wasn’t really what I was delivering. Dementia Cafes are typically about practical information and reminiscence, and the sessions I delivered at Soho were about engaging those with dementia with the history of the museum. The programme at BMAG is set up in a similar way.

Although reminiscence can work well if you know the person who has dementia personally, some activities run the risk of being based around a narrow cultural definition. Birmingham is a culturally diverse community and this presents challenges when basing a programme around reminiscence. In addition, reports and studies have shown that people with dementia are likely to more positively experience an activity when it does not rely on previous knowledge, this is why Dementia Friendly Tours at BMAG are not about reminiscence. Instead our sessions are about in the moment experiences. Rather than having to recall, in the moment experiences help you stay focused, allowing you to engage in what’s happening. It can unlock emotions and verbal expression and as a group you can discover and explore something together. Read More...