Visitor Policies


Visitor Policies & Public Safety Guidelines

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is pleased to welcome back visitors after temporarily closing in 2020 due to COVID-19. The historic galleries at The Institute are open to the public on Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the last admission one hour before closing. In order to control the number of visitors on site, advanced timed ticketing is recommended.

Bag Policy

As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, the BCRI has modified and adopted the following bag policy. The Museum’s galleries have limited space. Backpacks and large bags can pose a hazard to artifacts and documents on display and even to other visitors. They can also cause significant damage to walls and signage. all bags are subject to possible inspection and tagging.

  • All bags will be checked by security.
  • Large daypacks, backpacks, backpack-style purses and luggage will not be permitted in the museum.
  • Lockers are available to rent during your visit.
  • Only bags smaller than 9 ½ inches x 8 ½ inches can be carried into our galleries. Any item not meeting this requirement must be left in a locker.
  • All bags meeting this size restriction must be carried on the front or side of the person. Nothing can be worn on the back in the galleries or the Museum’s other public spaces.
  • Only medical bags and diaper/baby bags containing essentials will be allowed into the galleries; and only after security has inspected and cleared the item(s). All cleared bags/item(s) will be labeled by a security officer prior to entering the galleries.
  • BCRI Administration and/or Security assume and accept no responsibility for stored bags.
  • BCRI reserves the right to deny admission for failure to adhere to this policy.

  • Photography

    The BCRI permits still and video photography for noncommercial use only in its museums and exhibitions, unless otherwise posted. Due to possible damage to exhibits, flash photography is prohibited.

  • For the safety of our visitors and collections, the BCRI prohibits the use of tripods, monopods, or selfie sticks in our museums. This is a preventive measure to protect visitors and objects, especially during crowded conditions. We encourage museum visitors to take selfies and share their experiences—and leave the selfie sticks in their bags.
  • Working members of the media who need to use a tripod or monopod must obtain permission from the museum’s Gallery Manager and must be escorted by a museum staff member while in the building.
  • Accessibility

    The Museum is fully accessible to all visitors. Special needs are met with designated parking spaces and a ground level entrance adjacent to the Museum parking lot. Ramps and elevators serve the entrance and lobby. A limited number of wheelchairs are available at the security station near the parking lot entrance. If you have any questions, please speak to the Ticket Booth staff.


    Women’s and men’s restrooms are located on the lower level and second floor. There is a baby changing station near the women’s restroom, located on the lower level near the elevators.

    Chaperones Request

    Please be responsible for your group. BCRI staff/volunteers rely on you to keep your group together while visiting the museum. Encourage your students to learn. On tours, please invite your students to respond and ask questions.