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.

We are open to visitors again and can’t wait to welcome you back safely.

Opening times: Wednesdays–Sundays, 11am–5.30pm (5pm close on Sundays)
Free admission – advance booking not required

Plan your visit

Explore our online resources, including our Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS exhibition

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Meet our distinguished friends
  • Stories in Focus: Departures – Free mini-tours

    September 4, 2021

    Join us on Saturdays and Sundays in September for a free mini-tour of our Departures exhibition. These short tours include an introduction to the exhibition and the chance to delve a little deeper into one of the emigration stories featured in the exhibition. Read more

  • South London Football Heroes

    June 10, 2021

    We’re celebrating South London’s football heroes in our window display this summer. The display honours local footballers from all backgrounds who have changed the men’s and women’s game and made a difference to our community – as nominated by you – via a social media callout. Read more

  • Departures

    May 19, 2021

    An 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

  • Humanæ

    February 14, 2020

    An ongoing project by artist Angélica Dass documenting every human skin tone through portrait photographs. The project invites us all to reflect on and rethink our identities and what we have in common. Read more

  • Room to Breathe

    February 14, 2020

    An immersive exhibition inviting visitors to discover stories from generations of new arrivals to Britain. Journey through a series of rooms in which hundreds of personal stories are brought to life in creative and unexpected ways. 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 new 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

  • 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 Migration Museum’s 2020 lecture, delivered by Baroness Warsi

    Baroness Sayeeda Warsi delivered our 2020 lecture at King’s College London, chaired by her friend and fellow peer Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, exploring the rise of Islamophobia and the challenges of navigating complex currents of religion, identity and allegiance as a British Muslim and a high-profile politician. 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

  • Moving Stories – a competition that has moved us all

    A guest blog by Asher Goodenough, Subject Advisor for History at OCR, on the Moving Stories competition, which the Migration Museum Project ran in partnership with OCR. 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

  • Welcome back – we are open from Wed 19 May

    The Migration Museum is back open in the heart of Lewisham Shopping Centre. Our exhibitions and shop are open Wednesdays–Sundays from 11am–5.30pm (5pm close on Sundays). Admission is free and advance booking is not required. Read more

  • Migration Museum creates Shop Story Trail for Newham Heritage Month

    The Migration Museum has created a shop story trail for Newham Heritage Month, celebrating the stories of local shopkeepers and business owners who have found new ways to keep the community running throughout the pandemic. Read more

  • Become a Trustee of the Migration Museum

    The Migration Museum is looking for Trustees to challenge, inspire and lead us as we move to the next level in delivering a high profile new landmark cultural institution for the UK. The deadline for applications is Monday 3 May 2021. Read more

  • Migration Museum appoints Charles Gurassa as chair and seeks new Trustees

    The Migration Museum is announcing a number of changes to its board and launching a large-scale trustee recruitment drive to equip it with the leadership, skills and representation needed to deliver a landmark national Migration Museum for Britain. Read more

  • We’re hiring through the Kickstart Scheme

    We’re pleased to be working in partnership with Create Jobs to offer two new 6-month Creative Producer roles through the Government’s Kickstart scheme. Read more

  • Exhibitions and shop closed due to Coronavirus restrictions

    Our exhibitions and shop are currently closed to visitors due to Coronavirus restrictions. We look forward to welcoming you back safely as soon as we can.

      Read more

  • Departures – our new podcast exploring 400 years of emigration from Britain

    Departures is a new podcast from the Migration Museum exploring 400 years of emigration from Britain. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Read more

  • Aditi Anand wins Museums Change Lives Radical Changemaker Award

    We are delighted to announce that Aditi Anand, our head of creative content, has won the Radial Changemaker award at the Museums Association’s 2020 Museums Change Lives Awards. Read more

  • Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS – new digital exhibition launches

    Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS, our new 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, is now live.

    Read more

  • Migration Network 2020/1

    The Migration Network is a knowledge-sharing network bringing together organisations from across the UK heritage sector and beyond, featuring a series of regional knowledge-sharing events from Autumn 2020 onwards. Read more

  • Heart of the Nation – digital exhibition and Spotify partnership

    We’ve partnered with Spotify to create a playlist celebrating 72 years of the NHS to mark the announcement of our first major digital exhibition, Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS. Read more

  • Windrush Day 2020: EVEWRIGHT takeover and #Windrushtome

    For Windrush Day 2020, artist EVEWRIGHT took over our Instagram to share details of his new project, Tilbury Walkway of Memories, and throughout the day we shared personal perspectives on what Windrush means to people across our social channels, using the hashtag #Windrushtome. Read more

  • In solidarity – statement and resources

    The Migration Museum stands in solidarity with black communities – in the US, the UK and worldwide. But we must do more than just speak out. Structural racism manifests itself differently in different countries and contexts. Awareness, education and action is vital. We’re sharing some resources that we hope might be useful, informative and inspiring as a starting point. And we’d love to hear your suggestions – get in touch. Read more

  • Explore our digital resources

    There are plenty of ways you can engage with us online while the Migration Museum is closed. Read more

  • Migration Museum launching in Lewisham

    The Migration Museum is opening its doors to the public at our new venue in Lewisham on Friday 14 February at 11am. To mark our launch, we’re sharing a selection of personal stories. Read more

  • The Migration Museum’s 2020 lecture, delivered by Baroness Warsi

    Baroness Sayeeda Warsi delivered our 2020 lecture at King’s College London, chaired by her friend and fellow peer Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, exploring the rise of Islamophobia and the challenges of navigating complex currents of religion, identity and allegiance as a British Muslim and a high-profile politician. Read more

  • Migration Museum embarks on collaborative residency with King’s College London’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute

    The Migration Museum is embarking on a six-month collaborative residency with Kings College London’s (KCL) Arts and Humanities Research Institute (AHRI). Read more

  • The Migration Museum in Lewisham in 2020

    The Migration Museum in Lewisham is now open. We’ll be staging an exciting series of exhibitions, events and activities in 2020 from a large new venue in the heart of Lewisham Shopping Centre. Read more

  • Migration Museum at The Workshop – highlights of a fantastic two and a half years

    After a fantastic two and a half years, our Migration Museum at The Workshop is now closed to the public. As we gear up for a move to an exciting new venue in 2020 – more details coming soon – we wanted to look back at some of the highlights of our time on Lambeth… Read more

  • Family History Day: uncovering our past, illuminating our present

    This autumn, we partnered with The National Archives, the London Metropolitan Archives and the National Trust to bring our visitors a Family History Day with a difference. Read more

  • Migration Museum presents: Borderless Cup Lambeth

    This summer, we joined forces with the Black Prince Trust (BPT), Vauxhall One and Kick It Out to present the first Borderless Cup Lambeth, an inclusive football and basketball tournament for Lambeth residents and community organisations. Read more

  • Residency programme for migrant artists

    Our initial staging of our Room to Breathe exhibition at the Migration Museum at The Workshop in Lambeth in 2018/19 served as a setting for a series of residencies by migrant artists. Read a selection of interviews with and blog posts about each of the artists, find information on the workshops each artist ran, as well as information on the final group exhibition in summer 2019. Read more

  • Migrants Mean Business with George Alagiah – podcast

    Migrants Mean Business with George Alagiah is a new podcast series from the Migration Museum, in association with Allianz Global Investors, featuring conversations with some of Britain’s most successful business leaders – all of whom have immigrant backgrounds. Read more

  • Mayor of London Sadiq Khan visits Migration Museum and pledges support

    The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, pledged his support for a permanent national Migration Museum in London during a visit to our current venue in Lambeth on June 4. 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