Our Collections

Culture at the University of Birmingham is constantly evolving. Our collection of historic manuscripts, Special Collections, recently moved to a new state of the art home in the Cadbury Research Library in Muirhead Tower, and The Bramall Music Building, providing a state-of-the-art auditorium and teaching space for the University of Birmingham's music department will be opened in Autumn 2012.

Birmingham is also pioneering research to make our wealth of cultural artefacts available digitally. A team from the University’s IBM VISTA centre is creating 3D digital versions of the University’s cultural collections, including the Eton Myers collection of Egyptian Antiquities. A similar project is also underway to create a digital library of the University’s Mingana Collection of medieval manuscripts.

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Barber Institute of Fine Arts Cadbury Research Library : Special Collections Lapworth Museum of Geology Research and Cultural Collections Winterbourne House and Garden

Barber Institute of Fine Arts

 The Blue Bower - Rosetti
Major works by Botticelli, Rubens, Poussin, Claude, van Dyck, Gainsborough, Turner, Rossetti, Manet, Monet, Degas, Magritte and Picasso and other names in the history of Western art are included in the outstanding art collection at the Barber Institute, which has been praised variously as “the last great art collection of the twentieth century,” “one of the finest small galleries in Europe” (The Observer newspaper) and “one of the best small picture galleries in the country” (Britain’s Best Museums and Galleries).

Barber Institute website

Barber What's on guides

Cadbury Research Library : Special Collections

University Books

The Special Collections and Archives of the University of Birmingham have been built up over a period of 120 years and consist of approximately 120,000 pre-1850 books dating from 1471 and some 3 million manuscripts, all of which distinguishes us as a major UK research library.

Cadbury Research Library website

Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections brochure (PDF - 325KB)

Lapworth Museum of Geology


The Lapworth Museum of Geology dates back to 1880, and is one of the oldest specialist geological museums in the UK. Throughout its long history the Lapworth Museum has provided a valuable resource for students, schools and colleges, research workers, enthusiasts, and anyone with a desire to learn about geology.

Lapworth Museum website

Lapworth Museum Leaflet (PDF - 188KB)

Research and Cultural Collections

Aston Webb Building sketch






The Research and Cultural Collections is a cornucopia of extraordinary artefacts, from West African masks in the Danford Collection, to important 20th century paintings such as Peter Lanyon’s mural in the Arts Building. The University owns, displays and teaches using groups of objects within seven distinct collections, including Archaeology, Physics and Pathology. These variously play ceremonial, commemorative, decorative and didactic roles in University life.

Research and Cultural Collections website

Research and Cultural Collection guide booklet (PDF - 3.23MB)

Winterbourne House and Garden

Winterbourne House and Garden

Winterbourne is a stunning Arts and Crafts house and garden that forms an oasis of tranquility at the heart of the University campus. Winterbourne House opened its doors as a heritage attraction in May 2010, having been restored to its Edwardian Arts and Crafts splendour. Both the house and garden hold a wide range of public events including special interest tours, exhibitions, lectures and adult education courses.

Winterbourne House and Garden website

Winterbourne Events Programme (PDF - 2.22MB)