Bethlem Archives and Museum
The Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust cares for the archives and historical collections of the Bethlem and Maudsley hospitals, together with an important collection of nineteenth and twentieth century and 'Outsider' art. Our museum is open to the public free of charge and we offer a highly valued education service to schools and colleges.
We are located at the Bethlem Royal Hospital – the original ‘Bedlam’, one of the world’s oldest hospitals for the treatment of mental illness. Founded in 1247 as the priory of St Mary of Bethlehem, the Hospital has been housed on four different sites throughout its history – most famously at St George’s Fields (1815 – 1930), now the Imperial War Museum – and is currently located at Monks Orchard, Beckenham, in the south-east suburbs of London (Visit Us).
Relocation & Fundraising
Over the next three years, the Archives and Museum will be relocating to the main Administration Building on the Bethlem Hospital site. This will allow improved services for visitors, including a larger display area for the museum collection, education facilities and reading rooms for researchers. The new 'Museum of the Mind' will record the lives and experience and celebrate the achievements of people with mental health problems. We aim to become a leading information and learning resource for the history of mental health care and treatment.
Can You Help?
The project is currently in the fundraising stage, with designs and plans being developed for a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust have generously offered us the use of a building and £1 million towards adapting it for our needs. However, we still have a long way to go before all the aims of the new museum can be realised. Help from individual donors is vital to secure us a £500,000 grant from the Maudsley Charity, which we will only receive on raising matching funding from other sources. From your donation of just £50, we will receive £120 (including Gift Aid), ensuring your money makes a valuable contribution to this important new service.
To keep up to date with our news and information, visit the Bethlem Blog.