The Migration Museum explores how the movement of people to and from Britain across the ages has made us who we are – as individuals and as a nation.

Open: Wednesday–Sunday, 11am–5.30pm (5pm close on Sunday)
Admission: Free – no booking required

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  • Takeaway: Stories From a Childhood Behind the Counter with Angela Hui

    September 3, 2022

    Join Angela Hui, curator of the Chinese Takeaway installation in our Taking Care of Business exhibition, for a storytelling event based on her new book Takeaway – a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Read more

  • Pre-Carnival Ear Cuff Making Workshop with Nicola J Reid

    August 21, 2022

    Join artist Nicola J Reid and get creative making your own ear cuff either in preparation for carnival, festivals – or simply to add to your wardrobe. This is a free, drop–in event. No booking.
    Read more

  • Family Fun Day

    August 10, 2022

    Join us at the Migration Museum this summer holiday for a day of fun activities for the whole family. Discover stories of migrant businesspeople and explore your personal connection to migration through art, play and story telling.
    Read more

  • Madhubani painting workshop with Kraftgurus

    August 6, 2022

    Join us for a one-hour Madhubani painting workshop in our Migrant Makers Market Makerspace led by Nilanjana, founder of Kraftgurus. Read more

  • Stories in Focus: Taking Care of Business mini-tours

    July 31, 2022

    Join one of our free, drop-in mini-tours where we deep dive into a story or theme from our exhibition Taking Care of Business: Migrant Entrepreneurs and the Making of Britain. Read more

  • Summer holidays – family activities for kids of all ages

    July 27, 2022

    Looking for fun days out with the kids now that the summer holidays are here? Our current exhibition Taking Care of Business is highly interactive and has loads of free, child-friendly interactive installations, from food stalls and takeaways to barber shops. Select produce from our market stall while learning about the origins of some of our favourite fruits, create a hairstyle while learning about migrant-founded haircare businesses – and more. Read more

  • Artist Showcase: Lazo Studios

    June 8, 2022

    Part our Artist Showcase series spotlighting work by local artists with migrant heritage in our window display: Lazo Studios, a design and wood-crafting atelier drawing on experiences and knowledge of time-honoured practices and craftsmanship to create intricate artworks and artisan woodwork with a modern twist. Read more

  • Taking Care of Business: Migrant Entrepreneurs and the Making of Britain

    April 9, 2022

    Taking Care of Business is a new immersive exhibition at the Migration Museum shining a light on the central role that migrant entrepreneurs have played in shaping our lives. Read more

  • Migrant Makers Market

    April 9, 2022

    Welcome to the Migrant Makers Market, a concept store and makerspace dedicated exclusively to selling products from migrant-owned businesses and creators. Read more

  • Taking Care of Business: Migrant Entrepreneurs and the Making of Modern Britain

    Taking Care of Business is a new immersive exhibition at the Migration Museum shining a light on the central role that migrant entrepreneurs have played in shaping our lives – and Britain – through personal narratives, immersive art installations. Read more

  • Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS

    Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS is a multimedia digital exhibition shining a light on the stories and experiences of people who have come to Britain to work in the National Health Service (NHS) over the past 72 years. Read more

  • Departures

    A critically acclaimed immersive exhibition exploring 400 years of emigration from Britain from the Mayflower to the present day through personal narratives, contemporary art and a range of media. Read more

  • Wall

    WALL, currently on display at The Migration Museum, is directly painted onto two separate surviving segments of the Berlin Wall by contemporary artists STIK and Thierry Noir. Read more

  • Room to Breathe

    An immersive exhibition inviting you to discover stories from generations of new arrivals to Britain. Journey through a series of rooms in which the struggles, joys, creativity and resilience of living in a new land are brought to life through audio, films, photographs and personal objects. Read more

  • 100 Images of Migration

    A collection of diverse images by professional and amateur photographers that together tell a compelling story about what migration means to people across the UK. Read more

  • Keepsakes

    Working with communities and individuals, we are exploring the nature and importance of personal keepsakes in telling migration stories. Read more

  • From Redruth to Real del Monte: the unexpected legacies of Cornish emigration to Mexico

    What prompted Cornish emigrants to build new lives and communities in Mexico during the 19th century – and what were some of the unexpected legacies of this migration on both sides of the Atlantic? This guest blog post by Georgia Murphy, Collections and Engagement Officer at the Royal Cornwall Museum, is part of Departures: 400… Read more

  • Emigration from Liverpool to Canada: the Street family story

    Why did a family who emigrated to Canada from Liverpool in June 1924 return home just six months later – and what does their experience suggest about the reality of emigration for many British families? This guest blog post by Megan Ashworth, Archive Assistant at Merseyside Maritime Museum, is part of Departures: 400 Years of Emigration from Britain – Partner Stories, a national series to accompany our Departures exhibition and podcast. Read more

  • Mayflower 400 – Passengers, People, and Perceptions

    The passengers of the Mayflower were men, women and children. 102 of them left Plymouth on 6th September 1620. Who were they and why were they leaving? This guest blog post by Jo Loosemore, curator of Mayflower 400: Legend and Legacy – the national commemorative exhibition for 2020/21 in The Box, Plymouth, is part of Departures: 400 Years of Emigration from Britain – Partner Stories, a national series to accompany the Migration Museum’s Departures exhibition and podcast. Read more

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold’s family history reveals complex relationships and links beyond Liverpool

    Trent Alexander-Arnold was part of England’s initial 26-man Euros squad, but suffered an injury in a warm-up game which forced him to withdraw from the tournament. In this post, Findmypast’s family history experts delve into the Liverpool-born player’s family tree and try to assess some of the headline-grabbing claims about his family ties to the US – and to Sir Alex Ferguson. Read more

  • From Antigua to Australia, via Angola, Ghana and Ireland: Scottish and Welsh footballers with overseas family links

    As part of our Football Moves People campaign, our friends at family history website Findmypast have been exploring the pasts of Scotland’s and Wales’s footballing heroes to see where their heritage lies. Read more

  • 50 years a British Bangladeshi

    A guest post from Iqbal Wahhab OBE FRSA, founder of London restaurants The Cinnamon Club and Roast and Distinguished Friend of the Migration Museum, who was born in 1963 in Rajshahi, and moved to London before his first birthday. I was born in 1963 in a Rajshahi hospital, in what was then East Pakistan and… Read more

  • Who was Mrs Fouracre?

    Dr Lesley Trotter contributed to our Departures exhibition and features in the latest episode of our Departures podcast, which focuses on the so-called ‘left behind’ wives of Cornwall in the 19th century. The episode page features Henry Scott Tuke’s painting ‘The Message.’ Dr Trotter chose a study for this painting as the cover image for her book ‘The Married Widows of Cornwall’. In this guest post, Dr Trotter reveals the fascinating real-life story of the woman featured in the painting: Mrs Elizabeth Fouracre. Read more

  • Did your Welsh ancestors migrate to Argentina? Here’s how to find out…

    Our latest guest post from family history website Findmypast helps you discover if you have distant Welsh cousins somewhere you might not expect: Patagonia, South America.  Read more

  • More of it than we think

    Andrew Steeds has been involved with the Migration Museum as a volunteer, trustee and as our Projects Manager for the best part of a decade. His many responsibilities have included creating and overseeing our blog. He stepped back from our core staff team at the end of 2020, although will continue to work with us on a freelance basis and to be closely involved in our future activities and developments. In this sign-off blog post, he explains why the idea of a national Migration Museum for Britain resonates so strongly with him. Read more

  • Were your ancestors transported to Australia as convicts?

    In the first in a series of guest posts, Findmypast’s family history experts have created a guide to help you discover if you could be related to someone who was transported to Australia as a convict. Read more

  • Porcelain roses

    The past few months have been an occasion for raking over the past and sifting through memories. Elzbieta Piekacz – a photographer who has documented many of our exhibitions and events – has been going over her past, recalling a moment when she travelled back to Lviv, the city that her grandparents lived in, to piece together memories, armed only with some photographs left to her by her grandmother. Read more

  • The weaving together of photographs

    In this second guest lockdown blog, Tim Smith, a photographer who has written two previous blogs for us and has been ‘with’ us since the start of the Migration Museum Project, sifts through old photos he and his father took of the Caribbean and asks how photographic memories control the narratives we spin of our… Read more

  • Phoenix City: the resilience of London

    In this period of enforced inactivity, when almost all Migration Museum staff are in furlough, we are running a small number of blogs written by friends of the Museum on subjects related to the current pandemic. The first one, written by Cathy Ross, long-term friend (and distinguished friend) of the Museum, focuses on the capacity… Read more

  • The Belle Vue Studio, Bradford

    A unique archive of photographs which records the changing face of a British industrial city through the 20th century is now being brought to a national audience in a BBC documentary, as Tim Smith, long-term friend and supporter of the Migration Museum, recounts. When the Belle Vue Studio opened in 1926 on Manningham Lane in… Read more

  • “For Sama” – a film you should see (unless you’re an MP, maybe)

    We were told that the absence of a large screen was due to the Extinction Rebellion protests in Westminster Square. The reason for the absence of anything but a small handful of MPs was not given, so we could only speculate: XR as well? Brexit-induced agoraphobia? indifference to the plight of Syria and its citizens?… Read more

  • Hold the Line – retracing a 90-year-old journey

    The route from south-east Europe to north-west Europe is one taken by thousands of people seeking asylum and refuge from war and persecution. Newspapers constantly present this as a contemporary challenge, but, as this blog illustrates, this is a well-trodden path – for the artist Freya Gabie this route is the basis of a project… Read more

  • “The whole world is here . . . ”

    The New Londoners, an exhibition featuring portraits of families from all over the world who call London home, is on display in the Breathing Space café section of the Migration Museum until 27 May. This blog profiles the exhibition, which features the photographs of Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins, a long-term supporter of the Migration Museum.… Read more

  • On knowledge, football and forgiveness

    This is a short posting about football, but really it’s mostly about forgiveness. At a time when divisions run deep and animosity is in the air, when Crystal Palace’s goalkeeper is apparently ‘desperate’ to learn about the Second World War if only to understand why the Nazi salute he was photographed making might have been… Read more

  • Shorsh Saleh – weaving identities

    In April we welcome a new artist in residence to Room to Breathe: the multimedia artist Shorsh Saleh. Shorsh’s display in the art studio inside the exhibition reveals a range of delightful artistic practices, from miniature paintings, installations to carpet weaving. His body of work reflects his layered and complex identity both as an individual… Read more

  • Textiles and lullabies – Ceyda Oskay’s residency in the art studio

    Ceyda Oskay is the new artist in residence in our current exhibition, Room to Breathe. As with previous artists, we asked Ceyda and the curator in residence of the art studio, Dima Karout, a series of questions and answers to find out more about Ceyda’s artistic practice. Ceyda uses textiles to explore symbolic themes around… Read more

  • Art therapy with asylum seekers and refugees: the New Art Studio

    We are approaching the end of our third monthly residency in our current exhibition, Room to Breathe: the New Art Studio, an art therapy practice supporting asylum seekers and refugees in London, will be leaving the gallery on 24 February, and Ceyda Oskay will be moving into the space the following week. In the course… Read more

  • Karl Marx’s London

    Much is made of Britain’s reputation for providing refuge for people seeking political asylum but many consider such self-congratulation undeserved, pointing instead to Britain’s relative resistance to taking in Jewish refugees before and during the Second World War, to the small number of Vietnamese boatpeople taken in in the 1970s (in comparison with those taken… Read more

  • What have EU nationals ever done for the UK’s heritage sector?

    In this guest blog Olivia Bridge considers the contribution EU nationals have made to the museum sector, and what impact the UK’s withdrawal from the EU may have on the culture and heritage industries. Artists and, more generally, people working in the culture and heritage industry have always been conspicuous for their mobility, travelling across… Read more

  • The art studio as a ‘room to breathe’

    Room to Breathe at the Migration Museum takes visitors on an immersive journey through a series of interconnected rooms, revealing the multi-layered experience of migrants and refugees arriving in a new country. Intimate personal stories are brought to life through audio recordings of oral histories as visitors go through the different rooms. At the centre… Read more

  • Migration, population ageing, and labour force participation

    When people express anxieties about immigration, they tend to do so in terms of its economic, social or cultural effect on the country – and occasionally all three. Of these, the social effect of immigration continues to be the most divisive, with strident voices expressing bitterly opposing views. As far as the other two are… Read more

  • Island to Island

    This is a guest blog by photographer Tim Smith, a long-standing friend of the Migration Museum Project and contributor to our 100 Images of Migration exhibition. He describes the background to Island to Island – Journeys Through the Caribbean, a new exhibition at Leeds Central Library which runs from 27 June until 27 July 2018.  A… Read more

  • We’re hiring: Senior Creative Producer

    The Migration Museum is seeking a Senior Creative Producer to create high-impact programming and build partnerships to help deliver our ambitious cultural programme. Deadline: 7 August 2022. Read more

  • Our statement on the invasion of Ukraine and the refugee emergency

    We know that statements alone are not enough. We all have a duty, individually and collectively, to provide support, sanctuary and welcome for people of all nationalities and backgrounds displaced by the current situation – and by other conflicts and crises around the world.  Read more

  • Moving Stories: Lewisham – a creative competition for ages 9–18

    The Migration Museum has an exciting opportunity open to all young people aged 9-18 in Lewisham during London Borough of Culture 2022. Moving Stories: Lewisham is a creative competition inviting you to design an exhibit exploring migration and what it means to you. You will have the chance for your ideas to be seen and your voice amplified. Winners will work with a range of creative professionals to build your display for thousands to see Read more

  • Join our People’s Panel and People’s Network

    The Migration Museum is looking for people to be part of our People’s Panel and Network, helping to establish our community engagement values and practices in Lewisham and beyond. Read more

  • Calling all Lewisham artists and designers: Design our ‘Migrant Makers Market’

                PLEASE NOTE: THE ENTRY DEADLINE  FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY HAS NOW PASSED. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SUBMITTED ENTRIES.  We have an opportunity for Lewisham artists and designers to design our ‘Migrant Makers Market’ in 2022. The ‘Migrant Makers Market’ will be a cause-led concept store and makerspace launching in… Read more

  • A note about Achim Borchardt-Hume

    It is with profound sadness that we share news of the death of Achim Borchardt-Hume, one of the Migration Museum’s longest standing and most committed Distinguished Friends. Read more

  • Departures: 400 Years of Emigration from Britain – Partner Stories

    Departures: 400 Years of Emigration from Britain – Partner Stories is a national series to accompany the Migration Museum’s Departures exhibition and podcast series. British emigration is one of the largest mass movements of people in modern history – and emigration stories resonate across the UK. We’ve partnered with museums and galleries across the country… Read more

  • Call out for Lewisham artists of migrant heritage

    The Migration Museum is looking for two to four Lewisham-based artists to showcase their work in the Museum’s two large windows. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the Museum’s aim to shine a light on the stories of people arriving and leaving Britain stretching back over many centuries. Deadline for applications: Friday 10 December. Read more

  • The Migration Museum online shop is now open

    Our brand-new online shop is now open, featuring a hand-picked selection of artwork, books, homeware and gifts. All purchases support our exhibitions, events and education work. Read more

  • The Walk – Lewisham welcomes Little Amal

    The Migration Museum was part of the welcome for Little Amal, a giant puppet of a Syrian refugee, to Lewisham on Friday 22 October 2021. Read more

  • Migration Museum appoints new Trustees to help deliver major new cultural destination

    The Migration Museum has appointed five new Trustees to its Board to help us build on the success of our current home in the heart of Lewisham and establish a highly relevant and accessible new cultural destination that puts migration at the heart of national stories, narratives and conversations. Read more

  • Migration Museum joins forces with local organisations to aid Lewisham Covid recovery

    The Migration Museum has joined forces with 11 other key organisations in Lewisham to help the borough’s recovery from Covid-19 and improve the lives of local residents. The 12 anchor institutions have signed a new agreement to work together to boost employment, education, health and the environment across the borough. Read more

  • Pearson Edexcel launches Migrants in Britain GCSE History option at the Migration Museum

    The UK’s biggest exam board Pearson Edexcel launched a new Migrants in Britain GCSE History topic at the Migration Museum on 6 October 2021, attended by teachers and educators from across the country. Read more

  • Migration Museum launches Departures: Understanding Emigration education resource pack

    We have created a free, in-depth digital education resource pack shining a spotlight on 400 years of British emigration, designed with input from teachers and AQA’s History subject advisor.  This resource pack will be helpful to any student studying the impact of emigration from Britain; both on the countries people emigrated to, and on Britain itself. Read more

  • Football Moves People

    Football Moves People was a campaign led by the Migration Museum and running throughout this summer’s men’s European Championships highlighting how migration has shaped the beautiful game. Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 9 – Brits Abroad Today

    Britain continues to be a major source of emigrants in the 21st century – not something we often hear about. So why do people leave the UK now and which countries do they choose to settle in? And how is emigration today affected by Britain’s colonial past? Mukti Jain Campion talks to sociologist Professor Michaela Benson of Lancaster University who studies modern British emigration and hears from a range of British people currently living abroad. Read more

  • Welcome back to the Migration Museum

    Contemporary artist STIK has made a video for us to celebrate our reopening, featuring amazing drone footage of WALL and our current exhibitions. Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 8 – Deported Children

    Britain is unique in its long history of exporting its own children. Well into the 20th century there were official schemes sending young children out to settle in former colonies such as Canada and Australia with the promise of a better life. While some children were fortunate enough to do well in their new country, for thousands of others the forced migration was a profoundly traumatic experience of family separation, neglect and abuse. Mukti Jain Campion hears from two former child migrants who were sent to Australia in the early 1950s without their parents’ consent. She also speaks to Margaret Humphreys, founder and director of the Child Migrants Trust which was established to support former British child migrants reunite with their families and asks what lessons can be learned from their experience?

    Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 7 – The Left Behind Wives of Cornwall

    When we speak of emigration we tend to think of the people who leave to go abroad. But what about the families and communities left at home? In 19th century Cornwall this was a pressing question. As the once-thriving local mining industry went into decline, thousands of men left each year to find better paid jobs abroad. They were often gone for years, leaving wives and families to cope alone and rely on remittances that didn’t always come. Mukti Jain Campion speaks to Dr Lesley Trotter author of The Married Widows of Cornwall to find out how these so-called “left behind” wives survived and why their stories are so important to understand the full story of migration. Amanda Drake also shares a poignant letter sent by her 19th century ancestor. Read more

  • Jewish Museum Object Talk – Dunera

    Our Head of Learning and Partnerships Emily Miller introduces the Dunera display from our Departures exhibition, as part of the Jewish Museum’s Passover Object Series of talks. Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 6 – A Welsh Utopia in Patagonia

    In May 1865, 153 men, women and children set sail from Liverpool to travel to the other side of the world.  Their dream was to build a new homeland, somewhere they could speak Welsh, govern themselves and pursue their religion and culture without interference. A romantic vision that took them 8,000 miles to the remote Chubut valley in Argentina. Did their dream of a Welsh utopia come true? And what impact did their arrival have on indigenous people who already called this region home? Mukti Jain Campion speaks to Professor Lucy Taylor of Aberystwyth University who has studied the archives of the Welsh in Patagonia, and Gareth Jenkins who has traced a family from his own village in Montgomeryshire that was amongst the early migrants. Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 5 – The Leaving of Liverpool

    From the early 19th century to the beginning of the First World War, over 10 million British people migrated. Over half of these emigrants left from the port of Liverpool. Mukti Jain Campion talks to Ian Murphy, Director of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, to discover how the port of Liverpool became the gateway to millions of new lives abroad, and examines the importance of printed propaganda in fuelling 19th century British emigration with Dr Fariha Shaikh, author and Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Birmingham. Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 4 – Emigration and Enslavement

    Episode 4: Emigration and Enslavement The 17th century colonisation of North America and the Caribbean by emigrants from the British Isles was, almost from its beginning, dependent on the brutal forced transatlantic migration of millions of enslaved African people. Their labour made possible the industrial-scale production of lucrative crops such as tobacco, sugar and cotton… Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 3 – The Company Men in India

    From the beginning of the 17th century when the first ships of the English East India Company set sail from London, tens of thousands of men from Britain ventured out to live an expat life in a country that was completely different to anything they had previously known. Most never returned. Mukti Jain Campion speaks to historians William Dalrymple, Professor Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Dr Kate Teltscher and to Gurminder Bhambra, Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies at the University of Sussex, to find out more about the Company men who went to India and how their actions brought profound change for both Britain and India. Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 2 – Maidens’ Voyage

    In the early 17th century shiploads of young women were despatched to America by the Virginia Company of London. It was hoped they would marry the English planters in Jamestown and help grow the new colony. But who were these young women prepared to travel thousands of miles across the ocean in search of a husband? And how did they fare? Mukti Jain Campion talks to Jennifer Potter, author of The Jamestown Brides: The Bartered Wives of the New World. Read more

  • Departures podcast episode 1 – The Swarming of the English

    Mass emigration from England first took off in the 17th century with the colonisation of America and the Caribbean. The number of people leaving the shores of England was huge and unprecedented. Mukti Jain Campion speaks to historian James Evans, author of Emigrants:Why the English Sailed to the New World and to American historian Dr Linford Fisher to find out how those early English settlers fared and how Native Americans responded to the incursion of their lands. Read more

  • Departures podcast: 400 years of emigration from Britain

    Departures is a new podcast from the Migration Museum exploring 400 years of emigration from Britain. Read more

  • Migration and Museums – a review for the Migration Network 2020/21

    The Migration Museum commissioned a review to provide an overview of migration-related work being undertaken by museums and heritage sites nationally, to explore some of the motivations for the museum sector to address migration and the challenges faced in doing so, and to provide an initial basis and context for participants in the Migration Network 2020/21 to explore further. Read more

  • Migrants Mean Business – Karen Blackett in conversation with David Abraham

    Episode 3 of Migrants Mean Business features Karen Blackett, UK Country Manager for WPP and Chairwoman of MediaCom, in conversation with David Abraham Read more

  • Migrants Mean Business with George Alagiah – Sir Lloyd Dorfman

    Episode 2 of Migrants Mean Business features a conversation between George Alagiah and entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Lloyd Dorfman CBE. Lloyd founded Travelex at the age of 24 from one small shop in London and grew it to become the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist. Lloyd and George’s wide-ranging conversation explores Lloyd’s business and philanthropic career, his family roots and Jewish identity, the essence of entrepreneurialism and whether one ever stops being a ‘migrant’. Read more

  • Migrants Mean Business with George Alagiah – Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou

    To kick off our Migrants Mean Business series, we’ve got a cracking conversation with one of the most charismatic and recognisable business leaders of the past few decades – Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. His conversation with Daniel Franklin, executive and diplomatic editor of The Economist, ranges from shipping to dog walking, suing Netflix to going head to head with Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. Read more

  • David Olusoga delivers the Migration Museum Annual Lecture 2018: ‘The Perils of Our Insular Illusion’

    Historian, producer, presenter and Migration Museum trustee David Olusoga delivered our 2018 Annual Lecture at SOAS on 22 November 2018, arguing that, to make sense of contemporary Britain, we need to recover the global aspects of our history and culture. Read more

  • No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain

    A video showcasing our exhibition No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain. Read more

  • Migration Museum 2017 Annual Lecture with Gary Younge

    Journalist and author Gary Younge looks at how immigration is understood in the current age and what the consequences are in terms of migration, social anxiety and democracy. Read more