4408 entries. 93 themes. Last updated July 26, 2014.

The British Museum Opens (1759)


Having been founded in 1753 by the bequest of English physician Sir Hans Sloane, the British Museum opened to the public.

Sloane's library of about 40,000 volumes, especially significant for scientific and medical material, was among the largest formed in the eighteenth century. The British Museum retained all the Sloane manuscripts, but during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they dispersed certain printed books from the collection as "duplicates." 

♦ The Sloane Printed Books Catalogue on the British Library website is a project to publish bibliographical descriptions of each volume in Sloane's original library from institutional holdings around the world.