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Museums and the British imperial experience

Recent cultural studies have demonstrated the weakness of some of the fashionable theoretical positions adopted by scholars of imperialism in recent times. This book explores the diverse roles played by museums and their curators in moulding and representing the British imperial experience. The British Empire yielded much material for British museums, particularly in terms of ethnographic collections. The collection of essays demonstrates how individuals, their curatorial practices, and intellectual and political agendas influenced the development of a variety of museums across the globe. It suggests that Thomas Baines was deeply engaged with the public presentation, display and interpretation of material culture, and the dissemination of knowledge and information about the places he travelled. He introduced many people to the world beyond Norfolk. A discussion of visitor engagement with non-European material cultures in the provincial museum critiques the assumption of the pervasive nature of curatorial control of audience reception follows. The early 1900s, the New Zealand displays at world's fairs presented a vision of Maoriland, which often had direct Maori input. From its inception, the National Museum of Victoria performed the dual roles of research and public education. The book also discusses the collections at Australian War Memorial, Zanzibar Museum, and Sierra Leone's National Museum. The amateur enthusiasms and colonial museum policy in British West Africa are also highlighted. Finally, the book follows the journey of a single object, Tipu's Tiger, from India back to London.

Angela Stienne

‘To turn round a dead … or a living mummy … touch and twirl the proper Spring’. In the eighteenth century, detailed instructions were given to help you make a mummy inside the British Museum come to life. It

in Mummified
John H. Taylor

for other objects, but the present example is unusual in having been carved in a single piece, without a cavity. Its date and possible function will be considered below. It is a pleasure to dedicate this article to Rosalie David, whose pioneering multidisciplinary research has inspired a generation of younger scholars to apply innovative scientific methods to the study of mummies and grave goods to enhance our understanding of life and death in the ancient Nile valley. Acquisition The figurine entered the collections of the British Museum, London, in 1915, when it

in Mummies, magic and medicine in ancient Egypt
Daljit Nagra at the diasporic museum
John McLeod

before its mild god, the British Museum. (Daljit Nagra, ‘Meditations on the British Museum’, 2017) 1 In June 2011 I found myself at the Yushukan military and war museum in the heart of Tokyo, before a glass case containing a hanayome ningyo or ‘bride doll’. The Yushukan

in British culture after empire
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The illustrator as archivist
Bethan Stevens

consequences. Finally, I consider the way Dalziel’s work has been collected by two major memorialising institutions, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The archive – it’s about time: from Alice to Ally Sloper The archive sustains that which time threatens and attacks. It also functions through temporal structures, producing a complex form of narrative that is

in The wood engravers’ self-portrait
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Objects, empire and museums
Sarah Longair
John McAleer

. Wherever they are located, however, these objects and the changing interpretations they have been subject to over the intervening period clearly illustrate how the meanings of objects are modified and altered in response to external influences and changing political priorities. The process of understanding these shifting patterns highlights the fact that ‘curating empire’ is still a pertinent concern for museum professionals today. The British Museum and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich – the two national museums

in Curating empire
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Children’s encounters with ancient Egypt in the long nineteenth century
Virginia Zimmerman

The anonymous author of ‘At the British Museum’, published in Charles Dickens's All the Year Round in August 1869, describes the visit of a group of working-class families to the British Museum: adults and children alike are bewildered, perplexed and puzzled. 1 The author asserts that while the ‘man of education is thoroughly provided for at the British Museum, to the less well-educated, the Museum is an appalling enigma.’  2 Though the

in Pasts at play
The diverse origins of the municipal art gallery movement
James Moore

substantial state subsidy and become part of a national network of art education, there was no provision for central support of regional museums, however large and successful they were. For a time the Salford museum claimed more visitors than South Kensington and the British Museum, yet unlike these metropolitan institutions, it had to rely entirely on local sources of support.5 For smaller towns, a halfpenny rate generated insufficient funds to cover annual costs, let alone the necessary capital expenditure. Even in Warrington, a relatively wealthy town with established

in High culture and tall chimneys
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The continuing rise of the British Museum (Natural History)
Henry A. McGhie

11 The 1890s: the continuing rise of the British Museum (Natural History) H enry Dresser was fifty-two in 1890; through the decade, he and Eleanor lived a comfortable life in Farnborough. They suffered a great tragedy when their nine-year-old daughter Phyllis died of mumps in 1893. This had a tremendous impact on both Henry and Eleanor: she often spent time away from home in London on charitable work (‘mission work’), while he would take trips away (to Lilford Hall in 1895 for example) so as not to be left alone at Topclyffe Grange.1 The Bowling Iron Company

in Henry Dresser and Victorian ornithology
Mervyn Harris

British Museum, the World Museum in Liverpool and the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden) that were previously examined during the 1960s (Gray 1967; Gray and Slow 1968) and which appear to demonstrate radiographic evidence of osteoporosis. By looking for radiographic skeletal markers of ageing, this chapter seeks to determine whether the condition occurred at a younger age in ancient Egypt than in present-day individuals. There are two types of osteoporosis. The first is post-menopausal osteoporosis, which is the result of a decrease in oestrogen levels accompanying the

in Mummies, magic and medicine in ancient Egypt