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Asia

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

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Access Guide

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COVID-19 Information (British Museum)

  • The information in this section was taken in December 2020.
  • All entry is ticketed (for both the free permanent collection and the paid for exhibitions). For more information, please see the Museum's 'Plan Your Visit' page (link below).
  • Currently only selected galleries are open. However, galleries are re-opening all the time. For up to date information on the galleries that are open, please check the Museum's 'Plan Your Visit' page (link below).
  • There are external queuing points.
  • The external queuing points are clearly marked/signed.
  • There are separate doors for entering and exiting.
  • Entry is via Great Russell Street and the exit is via Montague Place.
  • There is a member of staff available at the entrance.
  • There is hand sanitiser available at the entrance.
  • The hand sanitisers are free standing.
  • The height of the hand sanitiser is 91cm.
  • Hand sanitisers are available inside the venue.
  • The details here are for the hand sanitiser just inside the Security Check Area entrance (shown in photograph 3). There are hand sanitisers located just inside the main entrance, which are 121 cm high? (photograph 4). There are hand sanitisers located throughout the museum at an average of 120 cm high (photographs 5 - 8).
  • There is a limited number of people allowed inside.
  • There is a Track and Trace system in place.
  • There is a one-way system throughout.
  • The one-way system is clearly marked/signed.
  • The one-way route is marked via arrows on the floor (photographs 9 - 11) and some free standing signs (photographs 12 - 13). There are also wall-mounted plans showing the route through the museum located in the Great Court. This is also available to view on the website. please see the Museum's 'Plan Your Visit' page (link below). In some areas, it may be necessary for visitors who need to use the lifts to go against the direction of the one-way system. If you are unsure what to do, please speak to a member of the Museum staff. Visitors who want to cut short the tour through the one-way system should speak to a member of the Museum staff to ask about accessing the nearest cut through point.
  • There is clear signage inside to help with social distancing.
  • There are marks on the floor around some exhibits indicating where visitors can stand and maintain social distancing whilst viewing the exhibit (shown in photograph 14).
  • There are protective clear screens located at desks/counters.
  • Not all of the staircases in the museum are open at the moment, and those that are in use are either used to go up or down, depending on where they are in the one-way system. Please check the map on the website or steak to a member of the Museum staff if unsure.
  • Not all of the lifts in the museum are operational at the moment, and those that are in use are either used to go up or down, depending on where they are in the one-way system. Please check the map on the website or steak to a member of the Museum staff if unsure.
  • Toilets are available.
  • The accessible toilets are located in the Great Court, on level 0 and also on level 3. Some other toilets may become available in the future. Please ask a member of the Museum staff for directions to the nearest accessible toilet if you are unsure.
  • The standard toilets are located down the steps from the Great Court. Only a limited number of visitors can access the toilets at one time, so it may be necessary to queue outside the toilet and wait to be called by the Museum staff member located at the entrance (photograph 15).
  • The following areas are currently closed; the cloakrooms, the Information desk, the Audio Guide and Multimedia Guide desk and the 'Hands On' desks. There are also o live events or tours taking place at the Museum.
  • A large print guide of the one-way route, is available to download from the Museum's Accessible Resources page. There are also links there to Soundcloud, to access audio descriptive guides, and YouTube, to access BSL guides. There are also signs around the Museum which QR Codes that can be used to download audio guides or other useful information (shown in photograph 16).
  • Wheelchairs are available for visitors to borrow free of charge, but need to be booked in advance. Please see the Museum's Accessibility Around The Museum page for more information on how to book. The wheelchairs are collected just inside the main entrance (photograph 17) and need to be left next to the exit (photograph 18), so they can be cleaned before being used again. A limited number of folding stall are also to borrow, which are collected and dropped off in the same locations as the wheelchairs.
  • For more information about the measures in place for Covid-19 please click here (new tab) .

Summary

  • The Asia Galleries display objects exploring the history and culture of Chinese, South and Southeast Asian, Korean and Japanese cultures from prehistoric times to the present day.
    The Asia galleries are located over 3 levels (Level 1, Level 2 and Level 5) The China, South Asia and India galleries are in rooms 33, 33a and 33b on Level 1.
    There is step free access from the North Lift.
    The Korea Gallery is in Room 67 and the Chinese Ceramics Room is in Room 95 on Level 2. The main access is located on the North Stairs landing between Level 1 and Level 2, this only has stepped access.
    There is step free access to Rooms 95 and 67 via the lift located in Room 33a, the lift opens next to Room 95.
    The Japan Gallery is in Room 92-94 on level 5, there is step free access via the North Lift.
  • For the British Museum - General Access AccessAble Access Guide please click here (new tab).
  • For the Great Court AccessAble Access Guide please click here (new tab).

Lift (North Lift)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located to the left of the foyer, from the Montague Place entrance.
  • Signs indicating the location of the lift are not available from the entrance.
  • The lift is approximately 10m (10yd 2ft) from the Montague Place entrance.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • Clear signs indicating the facilities on each floor are provided on lift lobby landings.
  • There is a clear level manoeuvring space of 150cm × 150cm in front of the lift.
  • Lift doors do not contrast visually with lift lobby walls.
  • Lighting levels are not at least 100 lux at floor level in the lift lobby.
  • The external controls for the lift are not within 90cm - 110cm from the floor.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift controls and the control plate is poor.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift control plate and the wall is poor.
  • The clear door width is 83cm (2ft 9in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 180cm x 128cm (5ft 11in x 4ft 2in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • There is a list of floor services available within the lift.
  • The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does not have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • There is not a hearing loop system.
  • The lift does not have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting levels in the lift are low.
  • Comments View
    • At this lift, level -1 is the level of Montague Place.
    • Level 0 is the main ground floor level, including the Great Court.
    • The separate exit doors do not operate on all levels.

Attraction / Exhibit (Level 1 : China and India - Rooms 33, 33a and 33b)

  • Entrance / Opening View
    • There are double, permanently held open doors with an opening width of 75cm+ for access to this area/attraction.
    • The entrance/opening is clearly signed.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance/opening.
    • Photograph 1 shows the step-free entrance to Room 33 from the north lift on level 1. Photograph 2 shows stepped entrance to the room directly from a mid landing on north stairs.
  • Attraction / Exhibit View
    • There is not level access throughout this area.
    • There are 3 unmarked, medium steps with handrails to the left to access Jade Room - Room 33b from Room 33. These steps can be overcome using the stairlift to the right of the steps.
    • Clear directional signage is not provided in this area.
    • The type of flooring in this area is vinyl, stone and wood.
    • There is flooring which includes patterns or colours which could be confusing or look like steps or holes to some people.
    • There is flooring which is shiny and could cause issues with glare or look slippery to some people.
    • This area does not play background music/sound.
    • There are resting/seating areas within this area.
    • Explanations for the exhibit(s) is/are in pictorial and information board format.
    • Some exhibits can be audio described.
    • Exhibits are audio described by using a headset.
    • Headsets can be obtained from the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Court, the audio guide is free of charge.
    • There are no exhibits which start from the floor level.
    • The distance between the lowest exhibit and the floor is 40cm.
    • There is a good colour contrast between some walls and the floor in this area.
    • The lighting levels in this area are varied.
  • Exit View
    • Visitors exit via the entrance/opening.
    • The exit is not clearly signed internally.

Lift (Room 33 China and South Asia to 33b Chinese Jade - remove)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located next to stairs up from Room 33 into Room 33b.
  • The lift was out of use at the time of the survey.
  • Signs indicating the location of the lift are not available from the entrance.
  • The lift is a stair lift.
  • A member of staff needs to be notified for use of the lift.
  • A member of staff is required to operate the lift.
  • The platform lift accesses a small level change.
  • There is a clear level manoeuvring space of 150cm × 150cm in front of the lift.
  • The external controls for the lift are within 90cm - 110cm from the floor.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift controls and the control plate is good.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift control plate and the wall is good.
  • The clear door width is 76cm (2ft 6in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 76cm x 80cm (2ft 6in x 2ft 7in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • The lighting levels in the lift are good.

Lift (Room 33a (Level 1) to Room 95 (Level 2))

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located in Room 33a.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • A member of staff needs to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are Room 33a to Room 95.
  • Clear signs indicating the facilities on each floor are provided on lift lobby landings.
  • There is a clear level manoeuvring space of 150cm × 150cm in front of the lift.
  • Lift doors do contrast visually with lift lobby walls.
  • The external controls for the lift are within 90cm - 110cm from the floor.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift controls and the control plate is poor.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift control plate and the wall is good.
  • The clear door width is 80cm (2ft 7in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 115cm x 130cm (3ft 9in x 4ft 3in).
  • There are not separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • There is not a list of floor services available within the lift.
  • The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The internal controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • There is not a hearing loop system.
  • The lift does not have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting levels in the lift are good.

Attraction / Exhibit (Level 2 - China Ceramics - Room 95)

  • Entrance / Opening View
    • There is a single, permanently held open door with an opening width of 75cm+ for access to this area/attraction.
    • The entrance/opening is clearly signed.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance/opening, via lift.
  • Attraction / Exhibit View
    • There is level access throughout this area.
    • Clear directional signage is provided in this area.
    • During busy periods this area can become congested.
    • The type of flooring in this area is wood.
    • Handrails with a rounded or oval profile are not provided in this area.
    • This area does not play background music/sound.
    • There are resting/seating areas within this area.
    • Explanations for the exhibit(s) is/are in information board and television/screen format.
    • Some exhibits can be audio described.
    • Exhibits are audio described by using a headset.
    • Headsets can be obtained from the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Court, the audio guide is free of charge.
    • There are some exhibits which start from the floor level.
    • There is an information touchscreen.
      The height of the touchscreen is between 100cm and 120cm.
      There is an information desk with a lower level computer and large print guide for the exhibition.
      The height of the desk is 68cm.
    • There is a good colour contrast between some walls and the floor in this area.
    • The lighting levels in this area are good.
  • Exit View
    • Visitors exit via the entrance/opening.

Attraction / Exhibit (Level 2 Korea - Room 67)

  • Entrance / Opening View
    • There are double, manual doors with an opening width of 75cm+, which may be difficult to open for access to this area/attraction.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance/opening, via lift.
  • Attraction / Exhibit View
    • There is level access throughout this area.
    • Clear directional signage is provided in this area.
    • During busy periods this area can become congested.
    • The type of flooring in this area is wood.
    • There are resting/seating areas within this area.
    • Explanations for the exhibit(s) is/are in information board format.
    • Some exhibits can be audio described.
    • Exhibits are audio described by using a headset.
    • Headsets can be obtained from the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Court, the audio guide is free of charge.
    • There are some exhibits which start from the floor level.
    • There is a good colour contrast between some walls and the floor in this area.
    • The lighting levels in this area are good.
  • Exit View
    • Visitors exit via the entrance/opening.

Attraction / Exhibit (Level 5 : Japan - Rooms 92-94)

  • Entrance / Opening View
    • There are double, manual doors with an opening width of 75cm+, which may be difficult to open for access to this area/attraction.
    • The entrance/opening is clearly signed.
    • The entrance door(s) does not/do not contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance/opening.
  • Attraction / Exhibit View
    • There is level access throughout this area.
    • Clear directional signage is provided in this area.
    • During busy periods this area can become congested.
    • The type of flooring in this area is carpet.
    • Some exhibits can be audio described.
    • Exhibits are audio described by using a headset.
    • Headsets can be obtained from the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Court, the audio guide is free of charge.
    • There are some exhibits which start from the floor level.
    • There are 6 medium steps with handrails on both sides, leading to Room 94. These can be overcome by using the platform lift located to the left of the steps.
    • There is a good colour contrast between some walls and the floor in this area.
    • The lighting levels in this area are good.
  • Exit View
    • Visitors exit via the entrance/opening.

Lift (Japan - Room 93-94)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located at the rear of Room 93.
  • The lift is a platform lift.
  • The platform lift accesses a small level change.
  • There is a clear level manoeuvring space of 150cm × 150cm in front of the lift.
  • Lift doors do contrast visually with lift lobby walls.
  • The clear door width is 90cm (2ft 11in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 90cm x 135cm (2ft 11in x 4ft 5in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • The lift does not have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does not have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • There is not a hearing loop system.
  • The lift does not have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting levels in the lift are good.

Accessible Toilet(s)

  • The nearest accessible toilet(s) is/are located off the north stairs/lift lobby, on level 3 using the north lift.

Standard Toilet(s)

  • The nearest standard toilet(s) is/are located in the north stairs/lift lobby, on levels 0 and 3 for female toilets and level 1 for male toilets.