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...

Mjq%20img 3347
1 May 2019

Museum of the Jewellery Quarter Jeweller in Residence Competition 2019/20

We are happy to announce that for the second year running we are launching a fantastic competition for graduates of the Birmingham School of Jewellery. We are looking for a graduate designer to design a new jewellery range for the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and become the Jeweller in Residence 2019-20.

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter (MJQ) is built around a perfectly preserved jewellery workshop offering a unique glimpse of working life in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter. Read More...

11 Mar 2019

The Brain

Our brains are wrinkly, weigh about three pounds and are approximately fifteen centimetres in length. Size wise your brain is slightly bigger than your two fists. But how big are the brains of other animals?

Can you really have a brain the size of a pea? Read More...

4 Mar 2019

Thinktank Open Weekends

Thinktank, Birmingham’s Science Museum, is home to thousands of objects and interactives across four floors, covering science and technology topics from the steam engines of the past to the robots of the future. 2018 was a very exciting year for Thinktank, as we saw the completion of a three-year project to restore the Smethwick engine (the oldest working steam engine in the world) as well as an exhibition celebrating pioneering female engineers, and the always popular Spooky Science week at Halloween.

At Birmingham Museums, we are committed to ensuring everyone in the city has opportunities to access these amazing collections and events, and so for more than ten years, we’ve been running a series of ‘Thinktank Open’ events, where we offer free entry to visitors from communities local to the museum. Every year we run two Open events, targeting different areas each time. Read More...