Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is housed in a Grade II* listed city centre landmark building. The museum shows its collections of art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography in over 40 galleries. The collections have been Designated as outstanding by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and have local, regional, national and international importance.
Birmingham Museums comprise Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Thinktank, Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Weoley Castle and the Museum Collections Centre.
The Museum Collections Centre (MCC) brings together the majority of the stored collections into one building. Access is being developed with research, visits, and public open days.
The service has responsibility for the care and maintenance of the City’s public art portfolio. It also manages and facilitates the loan, development and care of the City’s collections of science and technology to Thinktank, and the City’s Natural History Collections.
- A comprehensive collection of British birds and mammals which includes the Robert Chase collection, some foreign birds, especially from Australia and a small collection of foreign mammals. The Auden collection of mounted birds includes 30 specimens of the Hastings rarities and is hence of considerable historic significance.
- A comprehensive collection of British insects including butterflies, moths, beetles and flies including the Gorham collection of British beetles (on long term loan to the University of Birmingham).
- The South collection of macro-lepidoptera contains 17,000 British specimens with collecting details. Foreign land and marine mollusca are well represented, especially by the Archer collection and that of H H Bloomer, presented in 1929. British land shell collections are complete and well documented.
- Local floras from Warwickshire (Bagnall) and Worcestershire (Humphreys) are good, as is the general British plant collection. An extensive foreign flora is contained in the herbarium formed by Sir Benjamin Stone. Plant groups such as mosses and seaweeds are well represented.
- There is an extensive and nationally important collection of approximately 10,000 minerals and gemstones including rough and cut stones from worldwide localities. Of historic importance and significance is the collection of around 2,000 minerals formed in the 18th century by Matthew Boulton, the industrialist and entrepreneur. The collection contains a comprehensive range of specimens illustrating the geology of the West Midlands. Important specimens from the collections include the Triceratops skull*, complete skeleton of a Giant Irish Elk*, Shipston on Stour, Metrohinchys, fossil crocodile* (*on display at Thinktank).
- The Geology collection was moved to the Lapworth Museum at the University of Birmingham as a renewable long-term loan in 2008.
The Ornithology collections have been published and are available to download (as PDFs) here.
Specimens from the Natural Science collections are on display at Thinktank. The bulk of the reserve collections are at The Museum Collections Centre. Research requests can only be considered by appointment and with as much notice as possible, ideally at least 3 months.
In March 2013 Birmingham Museums recruited a new Natural Science curator.
Luanne Meehitiya, Natural Sciences curator