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Archive in Five

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 

& the first two Saturdays of each month 

12.30pm - 1.30pm, FREE

Rare and original artefacts and diaries reveal their stories in these curator-led sessions.

Get closer to history in the Brunel Institute as maritime curators and volunteers take you on a journey of discovery with precious items from the Archive Vault.


Featuring this Month:

Throughout February, the Brunel Institute will be focusing on Brunel’s other interests, thoughts and projects. Brunel was a talented artist and the Brunel Institute holds a number of his personal sketches, he also commissioned artwork for the Shakespeare dining room in his house in Duke Street. Brunel apprenticed under his father, Marc Isambard Brunel, during the early construction of the Thames Tunnel, and Brunel’s personal diary provides fascinating insights into this ground-breaking project.  

Curator’s Corner

In February we are looking at Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s ‘Locked Diary’, which he kept from October 1827 to April 1829.  Within the diary Brunel expresses his innermost thoughts, emotions, and aspirations, including his courtship of Ellen Hulme.  It includes descriptions of his work on the Thames Tunnel and an account of his accident in the Tunnel, written while he was recovering from his injuries.  As Brunel began to establish his career in its own right, his diaries become less personal and focus more on the project he was simultaneously working on.


Free event at the Brunel Institute