Highlights of the British Museum or Temporary Exhibition at the British Library ?

I was there just the other week. No lines at all. If you have a bag, it will be checked, but there were plenty of staff.

It’s slightly weird to watch people’s behaviour in the BM’s Sutton Hoo display. They don’t take selfies with the helmet; they take selfies with the reconstruction.

I’d do the library because it’s a more unusual thing to see, but obvs you have to pay for the special exhibition at the British Library and possibly book ahead depending how popular it is, whereas the museum highlights tour is free.

If Friday Nov 2nd is your last day, bear in mind that the Museum is open till 8.30pm so you could probably go to both.

I live quite close to the river and follow Thames archeology accounts on Twitter. This came up a while ago, it’s a list of great finds from the river now on display at the British Museum - I think it’s a nice theme for getting around the museum and will be following it myself next month :

Hmmm, I’m not sure I get your reference. Do you mean that what’s on display is a reconstruction and not the real deal ?

@SciFiSam : Our train leaves at 7p.m. I think, which leaves little room to do both, even taking the extended opening hours into account. But thanks, anyway ;).

There are both. There is one that is a reconstruction from the original pieces. It’s in the same display case, but is a bit higher. Since it is the original pieces, it looks kind of brownish and obviously aged. They also made a complete reproduction that is shiny and gold and what people think of when they think of the Sutton Hoo helmet. It’s facing a different direction in the display case, but is much prettier than the reconstructed ‘real’ helmet, so I’m assuming that bonzer is saying that people take their selfies with the pretty, but fake helmet rather than the less attractive, but real helmet.

In other words, you just have to know where to look :cool: .

Thanks for clearing that up.

Yeah, but they are both really in the same spot. Try the link below. The ‘fake’ helmet is on the left in this view and is shiny and gold. The ‘real’ helmet is on the right and looks brown and rusty.

The first of the academic reviews of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition is very positive.


Easy answer : the temporary exhibition. First because the highlights will still be there for your next visit, while the exhibition won’t. But more importantly because you’re enthusiastic about the exhibition and aren’t really about the highlights.

So, I went to the British Library Exhibition. If you like old books, it’s absolutely spectacular and you should definitely consider going.

I was surprised by my own reactions to the manuscripts and artifacts that were displayed. Quite a few made pause and gasp. I’ve been to museums quite a bit over the years and I don’t recall having such a reaction that often. It was both fascinating and strangely humbling.

Another thing that impressed me was the sheer quality and, let’s say, intensity of the works displayed. The elegance and regularity of the scripts, the palpable depth of the illustrations were nothing short of amazing. And of course the weight of the centuries, which I found particularly moving.

Really breathtaking.