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Galleries

Beautiful galleries provide opportunities for curiosity and wonder.

Plan your visit

Exhibition Hall

Ground floor

The Exhibition Hall is where we produce, host and tour ambitious shows that explore the richness of our world and our past, present and future. They engage with big ideas, global challenges and local action. Golden Mummies of Egypt is the opening exhibition. Featuring more than 100 objects and eight mummies, the exhibition presents a rich perspective on beliefs about the afterlife during an era when Egypt was part of the Greek and Roman worlds.

Belonging Gallery

Floor 1

The Belonging Gallery draws upon collections and multiple cultural perspectives to reflect on how we come to know what belonging means for ourselves, other people, species and places. We can know belonging through relationships, everyday objects, places, movement, and actions. Here comics from 20 local, national, and international artists and writers tell stories of belonging. The comics aim to inspire empathy, bringing you into worlds that may feel familiar and sometimes taking you to places you can only imagine.

Image copyright: Samidha Gunjal/Studio Dhamisa, 2022

Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery

Floor 1

The Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery draws from historical and contemporary links between Manchester and China and a wide range of Chinese perspectives. It offers a diverse and dynamic understanding of Chinese culture. The gallery highlights personal stories of migration, friendships and collaboration to inspire empathy and build understanding.

South Asia Gallery

Floor 1

The South Asia Gallery, a British Museum partnership, presents a compelling, contemporary take on South Asian and British Asian culture. It is the first permanent gallery in the UK to celebrate the experiences and contribution of the South Asian diaspora, and it displays world-class material from the British Museum alongside the best of South Asian collections in Manchester. This multilingual gallery has been designed and built with the South Asia Gallery Collective, an inspiring group of community leaders, educators, artists, historians, journalists, scientists, musicians, students and others from South Asian diaspora with a unique spirit of collaboration and co-production.

Archaeology

Floor 1

The Archaeology gallery asks important questions about who narrates the past with interventions addressing pressing societal challenges. You will hear the voices of young people who have experienced forced migration – perspectives that interrupt and challenge traditional presentations of ancient cultures, such as Roman Britain and ancient Assyria (present-day Iraq). The gallery also tells local stories, celebrating Manchester’s contribution to archaeological fieldwork and research.

Egypt and Sudan

Floor 1

The Egypt and Sudan gallery tells stories of the people we now call ‘ancient Egyptians’, a diverse population who lived in north-eastern Africa from around 3000 to 30 BCE. The museum’s outstanding collection of Egyptian and Sudanese objects – one of the largest in the UK – illustrates both everyday life and preparations for the afterlife.

The Vivarium

Floor 2

The Vivarium houses a collection of live amphibians and reptiles including many critically endangered species. It is unusual for a museum to care for live animals, but Manchester Museum has done so for over 50 years, offering a unique opportunity to see rare and beautiful creatures and watch conservation in action.

Living Worlds and Nature's Library

Floor 1 and 2

Living Worlds and Nature’s Library display some of the museum’s collections of natural history specimens – from zoology, entomology, botany and earth sciences – to raise awareness of the incredible diversity of life on Earth. The galleries aim to inspire a deeper appreciation and connection with nature and encourage positive actions that benefit our planet and our health and wellbeing. The skeleton of a sperm whale has watched over the gallery for over 130 years ago.

Fossils and dinosaurs

Ground floor

The Fossils and Dinosaurs galleries are where you come face-to-face with prehistoric giants Stan the Tyrannosaurus rex and April the Tenontosaurus and learn what it means to think like a palaeontologist. The story of our changing world is woven throughout the displays. From a 300-million-year-old fossil tree, a fragmented rock showing the moment the asteroid hit Earth through to Ice Age animals found at Creswell Crags, the objects hold important information, helping us understanding evolution, climate change and even outer space.

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As one of the UK’s largest university museums, we care for over 4.5 million objects, with an internationally-important collection spanning from Archaeology to Zoology, and nearly everything in between. We work with communities, support university students and schools in Manchester and beyond and we are a free, inclusive museum for all. But we need your help. Every object we care for, exhibition, school visit and community event comes at a cost, and you can help make the museum as ambitious and impactful as possible.

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