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The British Museum Friends (BMF) is a registered charitable organisation in the UKmarker with close links to the British Museummarker, and was set up in 1968. It provides funding in the form of grants to the British Museum in order to allow the Museum to acquire new items and collections, and assists with financing research programmes, conservation, and new technologies throughout the Museum.

British Museum Friends act as volunteers and may work in the galleries with the public to enhance the visitor’s understanding of the collection and their experience of the Museum. Some volunteers help in the Museum’s curatorial, learning, library or administrative departments by performing clerical work or conducting Museum surveys and evaluations.


Acquisitions supported by the BMF include the Warren Cup, the Canterbury Astrolabe Quadrant, the Burney Relief , a Mycenaean terracotta group of three dancers in a ring, the gold mancus of Coenwulf, the Ringlemere Cup, the Vale of York Hoard and two very rare gold coins of the Roman Emperor Carausius found in the North Midlands in 2007.

Other acquisitions funded in whole or in part by the Friends during 2008-9 include the Chettle Park Hoard and twelve Greek papyri from Roman Egypt from the Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

American Friends of the British Museum

The American Friends of the British Museum (AFBM) was set up in 1989 as a not-for-profit organization whose principal purpose is raising awareness and financial support for the British Museum. Since its founding, American Friends of the British Museum has contributed over $30 million to support a variety of projects at the British Museum, including:

  • The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court
  • Special exhibitions
  • Scholarly symposia
  • Acquisitions
  • Staff positions in the curatorial and education departments.

See also


  1. [1] BMF acquisitions trail
  2. [2] The British Museum Friends website
  3. [3] 'Electron microscopes assist work at British Museum' Laboratory Talk website May 28 2008
  4. [4] The British Museum Friends
  5. [5] 'Recent Acquisitions' British Museum website
  6. [6] The Astrolabe on Curator and Collector August 2008
  7. [7] 'Unique medieval astrolabe saved by the British Museum' The Daily Telegraph 30 July 2008
  8. [8] 'British Museum's new acquisition' History Today 11 March 2003
  9. [9] 'Gold mancus of Coenwulf' on the British Museum website
  10. [10] Purchase of the Coenwulf coin in The Guardian
  11. [11] Vale of York Hoard on Culture 24 website
  12. [12] BMF on
  13. [13] 'Rare Roman coins acquired for British Museum and Derby with Art Fund help' on Art Fund website
  14. [14] The British Museum Reports and Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2009
  15. The British Museum Friends Annual Review to 31 March 2009
  16. [15] Website of the American Friends of the British Museum
  17. [16] Mission of the AFBM

External links

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