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British Museum object catalog

The British Museum was the first national public museum in the world - founded in 1753 - and remains one of the most famous museums in the World. Its collections contain over 8 million objects spanning the history of the world's cultures: from carvings of reindeer from 13,0000BC to cardboard models of computer monitors from Singapore.

The museum holds over 3 million individual objects in its collection, around 2 million of which are represented within this database. 800,000+ have images - but these are provided under different licenses depending on use.

There is a web interface to search the collection to get a feel for the content of the data. The collection database also returns HTML representations - for example is the entry for Hoa Hakananai'a, a Rapanui (Easter Island) statue.

Technical Details

The data is modelled using the CIDOC schema in an RDF format, and there is a SPARQL endpoint available. This is a REST interfaces, which can provide both JSON and CSV files; there are some pre-defined example queries you can use, a longer example at, and a full exemplar AngularJS front end at with the Angular and Django source available at

As per the help page, the SPARQL endpoint can be called to return XML or JSON representations from SELECT queries, and RDF/XML, Turtle and NTriple from CONSTRUCT queries. returns xml (in the browser this is a downloadable file) returns json

The help page also details the URI scheme. Static data dumps are available.

Dataset Size

More than 2 million+ object records. Around 800,000 have images.


Non-commercial and research use only under a British Museum specific open license. Images are under a different license.

Contact information

Queries about the database, e-mail Issues to

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