The new Collection online
From Dürer to the Rosetta Stone, explore 4.5 million objects.
The database is based on the British Museum's collection management tool, where we record what we know about our collection. It was created for the Museum to store information for its own use, and is therefore full of specialised terms, abbreviations and shorthand.
The Museum has been working on the database for more than 40 years and, even with more than two million records, we've only catalogued about half of the collection. We're adding and improving records every day but, even so, an object record may not have been checked. In many cases, the most recent research has not yet been added. There will be mistakes and omissions, but the Museum chooses to publish the data, rather than hold it until it is 'finished', as there will always be new information about an object. Only personal and sensitive information has been withheld.