Directors and Principal Librarians of the British Museum

Posted May 31, 2011
This list has 19 members.

  1. Edward Augustus Bond

    Edward Augustus Bond


    Sir Edward Augustus Bond KCB (31 December 1815 – 2 January 1898) was an English librarian.

  2. Neil MacGregor

    Neil MacGregor


    Robert Neil MacGregor, OMAOFSA (born 16 June 1946) is a British art historian and museum director. He was the Editor of the Burlington Magazine from 1981 to 1987, the Director of the National Gallery, London, from 1987 to 2002, and was appointed Director of the British Museum in 2002. He has presented three television series on art and the BBC Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects, which aired in 2010 and later became a best-selling book.

  3. Gowin Knight

    Gowin Knight


    Gowin Knight FRS (10 September 1713 – 8 June 1772) was an English physicist who, in 1745, discovered a process for creating strongly magnetized steel. He also served as the first principal librarian of the British Museum.

  4. Henry Ellis

    Henry Ellis


    Sir Henry Ellis (29 November 1777 – 15 January 1869) was an English librarian and antiquarian, for a long period principal librarian at the British Museum.

  5. Anthony Panizzi

    Anthony Panizzi


    Sir Antonio Genesio Maria Panizzi (16 September 1797 – 8 April 1879), better known as Anthony Panizzi, was a naturalised British librarian of Italian birth and an Italian patriot. He was the Principal Librarian (i.e. head) of the British Museum from 1856 to 1866.

  6. John Winter Jones

    John Winter Jones


    John Winter Jones (16 June 1805 – 7 September 1881) was an English librarian. He was Principal Librarian of the British Museum between 1866–73. He was the first President of the Library Association in the U.K.

  7. T. D. Kendrick

    T. D. Kendrick


    Sir Thomas Downing "T. D." Kendrick, KCB (1 April 1895 – 2 November 1979) was a British archaeologist and art historian.

  8. Frederic G. Kenyon

    Frederic G. Kenyon


    Sir Frederic George Kenyon GBE KCB TD FBA FSA (15 January 1863 – 23 August 1952) was a British palaeographer and biblical and classical scholar. He occupied from 1889 to 1931 a series of posts at the British Museum. He was also the president of the British Academy from 1917 to 1921, and from 1918 to 1952 he was Gentleman Usher of the Purple Rod.

  9. Robert Anderson (museum director)

    Robert Anderson (museum director)


    Robert Geoffrey William Anderson FRSE FSA (born 2 May 1944) is a British museum curator and historian of chemistry who was Director of the British Museum, London.

  10. Joseph Planta (librarian)

    Joseph Planta (librarian)


    Joseph Planta FRS (21 February 1744, Castasegna, Switzerland – 3 December 1827, London, England), aka Joseph von Planta, was a librarian of Romansh-Swiss origin who moved to London and became the Principal Librarian of the British Museum.

  11. Frank Francis

    Frank Francis


    Sir Frank Chalton Francis KCB (5 October 1901 – 15 September 1988) was an English academic librarian and curator. Almost all his working life was at the British Museum, first as an assistant keeper in the department of printed books, and later as secretary of the museum, keeper of printed books and, between 1959 and 1968, director and principal librarian of the museum.

  12. John Pope-Hennessy

    John Pope-Hennessy


    Sir John Wyndham Pope-Hennessy CBE FBA FSA (13 December 1913 – 31 October 1994), was a British art historian and museum director. He was a scholar of Italian Renaissance art. Many of his writings, including the tripartite Introduction to Italian Sculpture and his magnum opus, Donatello: Sculptor, are regarded as classics in the field.

  13. Charles Morton (librarian)

    Charles Morton (librarian)

    1 view

    Charles Morton MD (1716–1799) was an English medical doctor and librarian who became the principal librarian of the British Museum.

  14. George Francis Hill

    George Francis Hill

    1 view

    Sir George Francis Hill KCB (1867–1948) was the Director and Principal Librarian of the British Museum (1931–1936). He was a specialist in Renaissance medals.

  15. Matthew Maty

    Matthew Maty


    Matthew Maty (1718–1776), originally Matthieu Maty, was a Dutch physician and writer of Huguenot background, and after migration to England secretary of the Royal Society and the second principal librarian of the British Museum.

  16. John Forsdyke

    John Forsdyke


    Sir (Edgar) John Forsdyke KCB (12 September 1883 – 3 December 1979) was Director and Principal Librarian of the British Museum from 1936 to 1950.

  17. David M. Wilson

    David M. Wilson

    1 view

    Sir David Mackenzie Wilson (born 30 October 1931) is a British archaeologist, art historian, and museum curator, specialising in Anglo-Saxon art and the Viking Age. He lives on the Isle of Man.

  18. Edward Maunde Thompson

    Edward Maunde Thompson

    1 view

    Sir Edward Maunde Thompson, GCB (1840 – 14 September 1929) was a British palaeographer and Principal Librarian and first Director of the British Museum. He is also noted for his study of William Shakespeare's handwriting in the manuscript of the play Sir Thomas More.

  19. John Wolfenden, Baron Wolfenden

    John Wolfenden, Baron Wolfenden


    John Frederick Wolfenden, Baron Wolfenden, CBE (26 June 1906, Swindon, Wiltshire – 18 January 1985, Guildford, Surrey) was a British educationalist probably best remembered for chairing the Wolfenden Committee whose report, recommending the decriminalisation of homosexuality, was published in 1957.

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