Looking to the future

Child looking at viols
The Royal College of Music Museum is undergoing a major development which will give it a new purpose-built gallery, a hands-on discovery area, access to a climate controlled performance space and a dedicated research area.

The development project is part of the RCM’s wider More Music campaign and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which awarded a £3.6 million grant in October 2016. The upcoming transformation of the RCM’s facilities will include new performance spaces, practice rooms, a café and repositioning of the Museum at the heart of the College.

In order for this to happen, our museum building is currently closed to the public and due to reopen soon. In the meantime we continue to provide access to our collections through an extensive programme of conservation, digitisation, research and outreach.

What we are doing

Our primary aim is to preserve, understand and share our collections. We are meeting this aim in the following ways:

Designing a new gallery

We are working with partners to create a new purpose built gallery, enabling us to showcase our musical treasures to a new and wider audience. The prospect of a new space, with improved accessibility and renovated displays, offers a unique opportunity to rethink the role of the gallery within the RCM and the wider cultural scene.

Conservation & digitisation

By digitising more than 20,000 objects in our collection we will provide new means of access for a greater number of people. You can already view many of these in our online catalogue and in our digital exhibitions hosted by Google Arts & Culture.

As well as a careful programme of conservation, we are preparing more than 500 musical instruments, paintings and engravings for the displays in our new building. Each instrument in the collection will be carefully considered in terms of its playability and the state of its preservation.

Researching & documenting collections

We are undertaking a number of focussed projects that will lead to a better understanding and interpretation of our musical instruments, paintings and engravings, which will inform research and enrich future exhibitions.

Coordinating & developing projects

We will continue to coordinate the MINIM project, which will create a single access point to more than 20,000 musical instruments selected from those preserved in collections across the UK, including the RCM’s.

We are also developing our educational activities and testing them through an exciting programme of workshops, concerts and lectures organised in partnerships with other cultural venues, colleges, libraries, museums and schools in London.

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