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A rum deal: The origins of Nelson’s blood

Rum has been a huge part of Britain’s heritage for as long as we can remember. We explore the history of “Nelson’s Blood” in the Navy, ahead of our Halloween event Voyage of the Damned (now sold out). From around 1655, a pint of rum was the usual ration handed to…

Trim the Cat – Halloween Voyage of the Damned

Going to sea is a dangerous business. Ahead of our Halloween event Voyage of the Damned, we’re looking at some of the more gruesome tales that can be found in our archive.   Life can be dangerous at sea no matter how big or small you are. As a small kitten, Trim the…

#MuseumInstaSwap

This week ten of the top London museums are joining together to celebrate their amazing collections on Instagram. We love being able to share beautiful photos of our own site but for the next five days we’ll be trying something a little different. We’ve partnered with south London neighbours the…

Stamping out slavery

Ahead of International Slavery Remembrance Day (23 August), Dr James Poskett from the University of Cambridge explores nineteenth-century abolitionist politics through our collection of wax seals. Wax seals were the email signatures – perhaps even the emojis – of the nineteenth century. In a world before mobile phones and Facebook,…

Ways of Seeing – Conference Response

Today’s guest post is by Damian Smith of RMIT University in Melbourne. He summarises and responds to  the fascinating series of papers at our ‘Ways of Seeing‘ conference. It was linked to our contemporary art exhibition Unseen: The Lives of Looking by Dryden Goodwin. The 2015 Ways of Seeing Conference, held on…