British Museum Collection Online

Interactive Data Atlas > British Museum

About the Project

British Museum Collections online (consisting of Digital Asset Database and the Museum’s collections database MI+). This contains catalogue entries (around 14,000) mostly with images but not all) for all Sloane’s objects still extant and identified in the BM collections. They are searchable under provenance, i.e. Sloane and by registration number, some of which match the numbers in Sloane’s Miscellanies. But the registration numbers are different in different departments and some records, although the objects are known to be Sloane’s, do not have the number from Miscellanies and only have modern registration numbers. Many thousand are prints and drawings and do not appear in the Miscellanies catalogue at all – instead, those match up with Sloane album numbers that are associated with the Min series in BL MS3972C Vol VI (the first digital catalogue in this Digital Atlas, above) and many of the albums are still in the BL in the Add MS series (see under BL below). Some were transferred to BM Prints & Drawings where they are called SL and then Add MS number and were broken up but identified by those numbers, others in Prints & Drawings remain in the albums, while others remained in the MS dept in BL.

Type of collection, contemporary or historic

This is a contemporary collection of the Sloane’s items held in the BM database.

Information on Digitisation

We don’t have explicit information about the digitisation process. However, the material is available online from the BM online catalogue. The collection includes metadata and images of the items.

Material included in the original collection

Over 14,000 items are available from the online catalogues when searching for the string “Sloane”. The collection includes the following object types (note there is overlap and more than one object type might be used per single item); visual representation (12,609 objects) print (8,544 objects) drawing (3,579 objects) album (2,556 objects) book-illustration (671 objects) miscellaneous equipment (632 objects) communications equipment (602 objects) ornament (570 objects) gem (494 objects) book (377 objects) painting (271 objects) container (258 objects) cameo (235 objects) drawing book (235 objects) vessel (222 objects) intaglio (221 objects) ornament print (200 objects) lighting equipment (193 objects) lamp (191 objects) personal ornament (180 objects) jewellery (177 objects) religious/ritual equipment (153 objects) sculpture (141 objects) ring (139 objects) print study (138 objects) finger-ring (137 objects) figure (134 objects) production/replication (128 objects) title-page (117 objects) tool/implement (102 objects) costume print (79 objects) plaquette (79 objects) currency (77 objects) coin (76 objects) sketch-book (72 objects) frontispiece (63 objects) matrix (60 objects) amulet (57 objects) map (56 objects) medal (56 objects) papercut (53 objects) arms/armour (50 objects) pattern (50 objects) pattern-book (50 objects) seal (50 objects) cup (48 objects) medallion (47 objects) fastener (41 objects) funerary equipment (41 objects) bowl (38 objects) button (38 objects) drinking-vessel (38 objects) weapon (37 objects) science/medicine (36 objects) toilet/cosmetic equipment (35 objects) plan (33 objects) cosmetic-container (31 objects) stimulant/narcotic equipment (31 objects) cosmetic-vessel (30 objects) toilet-vessel (30 objects) drinking-cup (28 objects) satirical print (28 objects) component (26 objects) shabti (26 objects) unguentarium (26 objects) clothing (25 objects) impression (24 objects) bust (23 objects) instrument (22 objects) scientific instrument (22 objects) offering equipment (21 objects) offset (21 objects) pendant (21 objects) popular print (21 objects) broadside (20 objects) alcohol equipment (19 objects) architecture (19 objects) card (19 objects) counterproof (19 objects) oil painting (18 objects) seal-impression (18 objects) axe (17 objects) nature print (17 objects) box (16 objects) dish (16 objects) flask (15 objects) jar (15 objects) book of prints (14 objects) foot-wear (13 objects) agriculture/subsistence (12 objects) fixture/fitting (12 objects) plaque (12 objects) portrait bust (12 objects) prayer-book (12 objects) religious/ritual vessel (12 objects) skyphos (12 objects) amulet-seal (11 objects) libation equipment (11 objects) libation-vessel (11 objects) medical/medicine equipment (11 objects).

Metadata and Formats

The collection enjoys a wealth of metadata. The metadata schema includes the following elements; Image, Object type, Museum number, Title, Denomination, Escapement, Description, Producer name, School/style, State, Authority, Ethnic name (made by), Ethnic name (assoc), Culture, Production date, Production place, Find spot, Materials, Ware, Type series, Technique, Dimensions, Inscription, Curators, Comments, Bib references, Location, Exhibition history, Condition, Subjects, Assoc name, Assoc place, Assoc events, Assoc titles, Acq name (acq), Acq name (finding), Acq name (excavator), Acq name (previous), Acq date, Acq notes (acq) Acq notes (exc) Dept, BM/Big number, Reg number, Add ids, Cat no, Banknote serial number, Joined objects.
The web page version of each item presents a subset of metadata. The metadata is available when downloading a collection in a CSV format following a query result. The webpage metadata schema includes the following elements: Object Type, Museum number, Description, Findspot, Materials, Dimensions, Location, Acquisition name, Acquisition date, Department, and Additional IDs.

Online availability, ways of accessing

The collection is available online from . The database can be queried via a conventional search box and results appear as web pages.

Access (Download)

The results of query can be download from the online portal in CSV format. There is a limitation on download size of a maximum of 10,000 records per CSV file.

Usage and citation

The collection material is copyrighted under © The Trustees of the British Museum. Non-commercial use of the images is permitted under Creative Commons. The image will be released to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.

Contact person

Victoria Donnellan  is the key person to contact. Please feel free to contact her directly, or otherwise contact us to bring you in touch.



  1. Go to BM’s Explore the collection and search with your search query;
  2. On the left hand-side of the search results select the filter Person/Organisation;
  3. In the pop-up type in “sloane”;
  4. Select Sir Hans Sloane.

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