The International Slavery Museum opened in 2007, the bicentenary year of the Abolition of the British Slave Trade. The Museum seeks to increase public understanding of slavery, both in a historic and contemporary context and to tell the history of transatlantic slavery and its enduring impact. The Museum received over a million visitors during the first four years of opening.
The Museum comprises four galleries. The 'Life in West Africa' gallery aims to highlight the diversity and sophistication of West African society prior to the arrival of the Europeans.
'Enslavement and the Middle Passage' focuses on transatlantic slavery and the processes of enslavement. The use of primary sources is integral to the telling of this history and has been greatly used in this gallery.
The 'Legacy Gallery' explores the legacies of transatlantic slavery. Community consultation highlighted the need for the Museum to balance the negative legacies of transatlantic slavery such as racism, against a backdrop of resistance and African and Black achievement.
The final gallery, the 'Campaign Zone', opened in September 2010. The gallery is an exhibition space, dedicated to campaigning against contemporary forms of slavery.