The Institute facade
Welcome to
Established 1854

Covid-19 Update

In accordance with Government advice, we have reverted back to our original pre-Covid room capacities, and all rooms are back available for hire.

The Library is open as normal, and there is no need to book an appointment anymore.

We will, of course, be maintaining our rigorous cleaning schedule and sanitiser stations will remain throughout the building. We invite all members and visitors to wear a face covering whilst moving around the building.  This is out of respect and consideration for our staff and volunteers.

We will continue to be guided by Government advice.  Please continue to use our social media channels for further information regarding the BMI.

The Institute has been at the heart of Birmingham’s cultural life for almost 170 years.

Founded by Act of Parliament in 1854 for the ‘Diffusion and Advancement of Science, Literature and Art amongst all Classes of Persons resident in Birmingham and Midland Counties’, the BMI is a membership organisation which has a thriving programme of cultural and educational activities, including a wide spectrum of arts and science lectures, exhibitions and concerts. Both members and the general public are encouraged to participate. The building is also a venue for many externally-organised events and can be booked for conferences and meetings.

The Institute library can trace its lineage back to 1779.  The library was incorporated into the Institute in 1956. The Library collection is gradually growing by the regular purchase of new books, principally on the field of humanities and modern fiction.

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Lyttelton Theatre Room


The Institute is a Grade II*- listed building, with a number of rooms and theatres available for hire. By hiring a room in our building, you are also contributing to the BMI’s charitable aims; revenue raised from room hire contributes to our cultural programme.

BMI Events


Come and join us for workshops, day schools, recitals and more! Available for both members and none members.

BMI Library


The BMI has its own library, which traces its origins back to 1779, when it was set up by John Lee, a button manufacturer who lived at 115 Snow Hill. This private lending library was reorganised in 1781 by Joseph Priestley, the pioneering chemist who discovered oxygen.



We now have a gallery/exhibition space for artists to display their work.

Click here to find out more about our wonderful new gallery/exhibition space

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Onsite Catering & Coffee Lounge

The BMI Coffee Lounge is open to both BMI Members and users of the Institute.

Contact Us

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