Collections & Exhibitions

The BRLSI cares for an incredible museum, library, and archive collection. Our museum collection spans many disciplines: archaeology, ethnology, zoology, mineralogy, botany and palaeontology. The historic library is mostly focused upon the natural sciences, but also encompasses exploration, history, philosophy, and religion.

The collection evolved through the generosity of many hundreds of people connected with the city of Bath and many of the collectors’ stories are as intriguing as their donations. With so many narratives woven through the BRLSI Collection, it is bound, with careful curation and conservation, to remain a rich resource of learning and enjoyment for centuries to come. In the archives can be found every recorded aspect of the institution’s two centuries of inspiring learning for all, and amongst BRLSI’s most notable treasures are:

  • The exceptionally preserved Jurassic fossils of Strawberry bank, Ilminster
  • The correspondence, library, and collections of clergyman naturalist Leonard Jenyns, Charles Darwin’s lifelong friend
  • A 4.2-billion-year-old meteorite fragment (part of the first specimen ever determined to be of extra-terrestrial origin)

A team of volunteers with various specialisms and enthusiasms work alongside BRLSI collections manager, Matt Williams, to ensure the collection is secure, conserved, well-documented and accessible, not just to the people of Bath but for visitors from across the globe. It is now cared for better than it ever has been in its 200 year history. Although our collection is not currently on permanent display, we promote its use through annual thematic exhibitions and a dynamic programme of research. BRLSI also works with other institutions around the UK who hold parts of the collection on long term loan.

Each year the collections team make improvements in the packaging and storage of objects, but there remains a lot of work to do and that’s why the generosity of donors is always so much appreciated.

In 2016 BRLSI Collections became an Accredited Museum with the Arts Council England, and soon after BRLSI Directors proposed further development of their display facilities to make the BRLSI Collections more accessible to the public. Work towards achieving this goal of a permanent display is ongoing.

Currently volunteers are helping to broaden BRLSI’s cultural reach by researching objects for Google Arts and Culture, an online platform where worldwide cultural institutions can display high quality images of their treasures.

Howard Jeffs: Where it takes me

Friday 12 November – Saturday 27 November 2021 An exhibition of prints, drawings and paintings, selected from twenty years of work by artist Howard Jeffs. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am…
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Punch Magazine cartoon about the threat to Turkey by the Russian Empire prior to the outbreak of the Crimean War

Crimean Relics-An Online Exhibition

CRIMEAN RELICSAn exhibition exploring aspects of the Crimean War through items held in the BRLSI collection. Satirical cartoons from Punch magazines bring themes from the war to life. Above: The…
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And alongside browsing a selection of our collection items on the website and visiting the annual Summer exhibition in the BRLSI building, visitors can now make new discoveries by following us on Instagram. Our Instagram project #take5 features five images from our museum, library and archives, grouped by theme and is the perfect way to be with us in spirit even when you can’t be with us in person! If you can’t get to the collection then the collection can now get to you!

Follow us on Instagram

Join us today @brlsi for #BathFestival to build your own beast and colour the scariest monsters with Prof Ichthyosaurus. Share to our twitter and we'll be sure to retweet! #BRLSI #BuildYourOwnBeast

Join us today @brlsi for #BathFestival to build your own beast and colour the scariest monsters with Prof Ichthyosaurus. Share to our twitter and we'll be sure to retweet! #BRLSI #BuildYourOwnBeast

3 days ago
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1/9
The grownups are being looked after rather nicely by the #BathFestival this year, but did you know the festival is kicking off with a set of fun activities designed to meet the needs of the whole family? On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th a festival hub will be occupying #QueenSquare for the entire weekend, with events and activities for children. We will be joining in the fun and have an art station in the square where you and your family can come and create a monster mask.
Not only this, #BRLSI will be sending you back into our #BeyondBeastly exhibition where you can design a monster, complete a quiz, tyrannize our twitter and make a fantastic flip book full of the most magical mythical creatures your mind could ever imagine. And if that weren't enough, we will be launching our new family newsletter written by none other than Professor Ichthyosaur, so get your grown-up to sign up while they are there!
https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/family-activity-weekend/

The grownups are being looked after rather nicely by the #BathFestival this year, but did you know the festival is kicking off with a set of fun activities designed to meet the needs of the whole family? On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th a festival hub will be occupying #QueenSquare for the entire weekend, with events and activities for children. We will be joining in the fun and have an art station in the square where you and your family can come and create a monster mask.

Not only this, #BRLSI will be sending you back into our #BeyondBeastly exhibition where you can design a monster, complete a quiz, tyrannize our twitter and make a fantastic flip book full of the most magical mythical creatures your mind could ever imagine. And if that weren't enough, we will be launching our new family newsletter written by none other than Professor Ichthyosaur, so get your grown-up to sign up while they are there!

https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/family-activity-weekend/

4 days ago
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2/9
Next week! Jim Al Khalilli, Katherine Rundell & more arrive to share their tales @brlsi during this year’s @BathFestivals - you’d be silly to miss it! Get your tickets, they’re selling fast! 
 https://www.brlsi.org/whats-on/
#bathfestivals #jimalkhalilli #whatsoninbath #brlsi

Next week! Jim Al Khalilli, Katherine Rundell & more arrive to share their tales @brlsi during this year’s @BathFestivals – you’d be silly to miss it! Get your tickets, they’re selling fast!

UPCOMING TALKS AND EXHIBITIONS

#bathfestivals #jimalkhalilli #whatsoninbath #brlsi

4 days ago
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3/9
#BRLSI Join us to hear about Isabella Bird, fearless Victorian explorer, writer and free spirit, the subject of tonight’s talk, part of our series celebrating women travellers. Jackie Hill-Murphy will be recreating her journey in Western China, illuminated by the original magic lantern slides. 
#brlsi #collections #victorian #victorianwomen #victorianwoman #womenshistory #bathmagazine #lecture #talk #history
Today, Thursday 12 May 7.30pm
Tickets in bio
https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/isabellabird/

#BRLSI Join us to hear about Isabella Bird, fearless Victorian explorer, writer and free spirit, the subject of tonight’s talk, part of our series celebrating women travellers. Jackie Hill-Murphy will be recreating her journey in Western China, illuminated by the original magic lantern slides.

#brlsi #collections #victorian #victorianwomen #victorianwoman #womenshistory #bathmagazine #lecture #talk #history

Today, Thursday 12 May 7.30pm
Tickets in bio
https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/isabellabird/

5 days ago
View on Instagram |
4/9
With just days to go before Jim Al Khalilii, Katherine Rundell & more arrive to share their tales @brlsi during this year’s @BathFestivals - you’d be silly to miss it! Get your tickets, they’re selling fast! 
https://www.brlsi.org/whats-on/
#bathfestivals #bath #city #jimalkhalilii #katherinerundell #brlsi #queensquare #talks #whatsoninbath #citytalks #literature #science #joyofscience #climatechange #exhibition #childrensactivities

With just days to go before Jim Al Khalilii, Katherine Rundell & more arrive to share their tales @brlsi during this year’s @BathFestivals – you’d be silly to miss it! Get your tickets, they’re selling fast!

UPCOMING TALKS AND EXHIBITIONS

#bathfestivals #bath #city #jimalkhalilii #katherinerundell #brlsi #queensquare #talks #whatsoninbath #citytalks #literature #science #joyofscience #climatechange #exhibition #childrensactivities

6 days ago
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5/9
How can we slow down global warming? Professor lea Berrange Ford and Professor Daniela Schmidt address the key risks and adaptation pathways in their talk Climate Change: Risks, Impacts and Adaptation, on Tuesday 17th May 7.30pm. Tickets £2 – £5
https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/climate-change-risks-impacts-and-adaptation/
#climatechange #globalwarming #earthscience #uwe #bathuni #europe #climatecrisis #leedsuni #society #greenchange #gogreen #greenmatters #ecosystems #crops #global #earth #impacts #natural
"

How can we slow down global warming? Professor lea Berrange Ford and Professor Daniela Schmidt address the key risks and adaptation pathways in their talk Climate Change: Risks, Impacts and Adaptation, on Tuesday 17th May 7.30pm. Tickets £2 – £5

https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/climate-change-risks-impacts-and-adaptation/

#climatechange #globalwarming #earthscience #uwe #bathuni #europe #climatecrisis #leedsuni #society #greenchange #gogreen #greenmatters #ecosystems #crops #global #earth #impacts #natural
"

6 days ago
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6/9
Tonight! #MikeJoseph is a current affairs #broadcaster and historian of #genocide. His Programme credits include World in Action, Weekend World (ITV), The Hundred Year House (BBC), Tan Tro Nesaf (S4C) and his current production, Keys: a troubled inheritance uncovers the conflicted histories within his his own family background. 
Taking in the histories of both the #Ukraine and #Palestine, it takes an insightful look at how the personal quickly becomes the political in times of conflict.  Join him @brlsi for a what promises to be a fascinating talk. 
Wed 11 May 7:30pm Tickets 🎟 £2-5
Tickets in Bio
#documentary #film #Ukraine #Palestine #FamilyHistory

Tonight! #MikeJoseph is a current affairs #broadcaster and historian of #genocide. His Programme credits include World in Action, Weekend World (ITV), The Hundred Year House (BBC), Tan Tro Nesaf (S4C) and his current production, Keys: a troubled inheritance uncovers the conflicted histories within his his own family background.

Taking in the histories of both the #Ukraine and #Palestine, it takes an insightful look at how the personal quickly becomes the political in times of conflict. Join him @brlsi for a what promises to be a fascinating talk.

Wed 11 May 7:30pm Tickets 🎟 £2-5
Tickets in Bio

#documentary #film #Ukraine #Palestine #FamilyHistory

6 days ago
View on Instagram |
7/9
The grownups are being looked after rather nicely by the #BathFestival this year, but did you know the festival is kicking off with a set of fun activities designed to meet the needs of the whole family? On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th a festival hub will be occupying #QueenSquare for the entire weekend, with events and activities for children. We will be joining in the fun and have an art station in the square where you and your family can come and create a monster mask.
Not only this, #BRLSI will be sending you back into our #BeyondBeastly exhibition where you can design a monster, complete a quiz, tyrannize our twitter and make a fantastic flip book full of the most magical mythical creatures your mind could ever imagine. And if that weren't enough, we will be launching our new family newsletter written by none other than Professor Ichthyosaur, so get your grown-up to sign up while they are there!
Information in Bio

The grownups are being looked after rather nicely by the #BathFestival this year, but did you know the festival is kicking off with a set of fun activities designed to meet the needs of the whole family? On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th a festival hub will be occupying #QueenSquare for the entire weekend, with events and activities for children. We will be joining in the fun and have an art station in the square where you and your family can come and create a monster mask.

Not only this, #BRLSI will be sending you back into our #BeyondBeastly exhibition where you can design a monster, complete a quiz, tyrannize our twitter and make a fantastic flip book full of the most magical mythical creatures your mind could ever imagine. And if that weren't enough, we will be launching our new family newsletter written by none other than Professor Ichthyosaur, so get your grown-up to sign up while they are there!

Information in Bio

7 days ago
View on Instagram |
8/9
“Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another.”
- Thomas Paine. Do our politicians genuinely believe in equality or is talk about eradicating inequality little more than electioneering? Join #BRLSI tonight for Levelling up: What, why and how?
https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/levelling-up-what-why-and-how/ #LevellingUp
#socialinequality #inequality #socialjustice #racism #covid #genderinequality #equality #feminism #blacklivesmatter #endinequality #poverty #wealthinequality #racialinequality
“Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another.”
- Thomas Paine. Do our politicians genuinely believe in equality or is talk about eradicating inequality little more than electioneering? Join #BRLSI tonight for Levelling up: What, why and how?
https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/levelling-up-what-why-and-how/ #LevellingUp
#socialinequality #inequality #socialjustice #racism #covid #genderinequality #equality #feminism #blacklivesmatter #endinequality #poverty #wealthinequality #racialinequality

“Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another.”
– Thomas Paine. Do our politicians genuinely believe in equality or is talk about eradicating inequality little more than electioneering? Join #BRLSI tonight for Levelling up: What, why and how?
https://www.brlsi.org/whatson/levelling-up-what-why-and-how/ #LevellingUp
#socialinequality #inequality #socialjustice #racism #covid #genderinequality #equality #feminism #blacklivesmatter #endinequality #poverty #wealthinequality #racialinequality

7 days ago
View on Instagram |
9/9
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