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Natural history, human cultures and colonial identities

Museums were an expression of the western conviction in the onward march of the rational. Local civilisations were also the prime focus in other Asian imperial museums. This is the first book that examines the origins and development of museums in six major regions if the British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It analyses museum histories in thirteen major centres in Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India and South-East Asia, setting them into the economic and social contexts of the cities and colonies in which they were located. Museums in Canada have a longer, though somewhat chequered, history than elsewhere in the British Empire. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto and the Royal British Columbia museum in Victoria were two notable, yet very different, expressions of imperial expansiveness . The book then overviews two representative museums: the South African Museum (SAM) in Cape Town and the Albany Museum in Grahamstown. The origins and development of the National Museum of Victoria (NMV) in Melbourne, South Australian Museum (SAuM) and Australian Museum (AM) are then discussed. New Zealand/Aotearoa, with its Canterbury Museum and War Memorial Museum, has discrete origins as a colony in the nineteenth century. Imperial museums in Asia were unquestionably distinctive compared with those of the territories of white settlement. A number of key themes emerge: the development of elites within colonial towns; the emergence of the full range of cultural institutions associated with this; and the modification of the key scientific ideas of the age.

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The Albany Museum, Grahamstown
John M. MacKenzie

The influence of boredom upon history should never be underestimated. The Albany Museum was partly conceived in boredom but developed in personal enthusiasms. There was a concentration of military doctors in the Eastern Cape because of the prevalence of frontier wars and the garrisoning of troops there. The lives of these doctors (four or five at any one time) must have

in Museums and empire
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The South African Museum, Cape Town
John M. MacKenzie

were learned institutions with a public face, reflecting the ideas of their time. They maintained both intellectual and practical contacts, exchanging scientific and social practice among British imperial, intercolonial and also international networks. All of these phenomena have been manifested in the two representative museums treated here, the South African Museum in Cape Town and the Albany Museum in Grahamstown. These are

in Museums and empire
The British Association in South Africa, 1905 and 1929
Saul Dubo

-established almost from new in 1855. The Albany Museum in Grahamstown was founded in the same year. In Natal, museums were established at Durban in 1877 and Pietermaritzburg in 1904. The Boer republics boasted similar institutions: a National Museum of the Orange Free State had been created in 1877, while the South African Republic created its Staats Museum in 1892. These museums were principally civic institutions

in Science and society in southern Africa
John M. MacKenzie
Nigel R. Dalziel

of the Albany Museum. Other units in South Africa also considered pipe bands and other supposedly Highland symbols as being crucial to their image. Hyslop, ‘Cape Town Highlanders’, p. 104. 71 Interestingly, the present Duke of Atholl and his heir the Marquess of Tullibardine are South Africans and live in

in The Scots in South Africa
Naomi Roux

wake of the Napoleonic Wars and to bolster settlement numbers along the contested Eastern Cape colonial frontier. 40 Many English-speaking South Africans trace family heritage back to this wave of settlement, and there is a certain cachet in being able to trace a family line back to this period: this might account for the presence of similar representations in other museums in the province, including the Albany Museum in Grahamstown and the Amathole Museum in King William’s Town. Although it draws on a rather different context and set of histories, the recreated

in Remaking the urban
Yvette Hutchison

to be communicated to the nation in concrete terms. Thus Mbeki conceived of the physical embodiment of the project in the Timbuktu Script and Scholarship exhibition, which travelled thousands of kilometres from the Ahmed Baba Institute in Timbuktu to South Africa, where 40 of the thousands of manuscripts from the various collections toured the country (see Figure 4.1). The exhibition opened on 8 August 2008 at the Iziko Granary in the Castle of Good Hope and then travelled to Grahamstown’s Albany Museum (9–15 September), Pretoria/Tshwane’s National Library of South

in South African performance and archives of memory