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Procurement networks and the purpose of a museum
Gareth Knapman

. From its inception, the National Museum of Victoria (now known as Museum Victoria and located in Melbourne, Australia) performed the dual roles of research and public education. Its long-time director, Sir Frederick McCoy observed that this was a tightrope with ‘many of even the better informed classes of the public clinging to the old notion of a Museum being at best a place merely for the innocent amusement of schoolboys and idlers’. 2 McCoy wanted a museum for serious public instruction and research, but his museum also

in Curating empire
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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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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.

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Museums in Sydney and Melbourne
John M. MacKenzie

genuinely alarmed at the exporting of indigenous artefacts, in Australia there was some concern that international collections had missed out on Aboriginal materials. Chapters Six and Seven consider the founding of the Australian Museum (AM) in Sydney and, in more detail, the origins and development of the National Museum of Victoria (NMV) in Melbourne and the South Australian Museum (SAuM) in Adelaide. The

in Museums and empire
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Collecting networks and the museum
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

collectors. As discussed in chapter 3, the Committee members actively discouraged donations of anthropogenic material, but in vain. Numismatists in particular were stubbornly generous, especially Reuben Spencer, director of the large local business Rylands and Sons, who gave British and foreign coins in 1894 (as well as funds to provide cases and later electric lighting for the whole Museum). Spencer’s son Baldwin, who went on to a successful career in anthropology and directed the National Museum of Victoria in Melbourne, was a school friend of the Manchester Museum

in Nature and culture
History and heritage in late nineteenth-century Canada and Australia
Kynan Gentry

interest, however, in collecting of Aboriginal material culture. Soon after being Appointed honorary director of the National Museum of Victoria in 1899, for example, Baldwin Spencer assessed the state of the country’s ethnographic collections: Victoria had next to nothing, Western Australia had even less, and Sydney was ranked poor, with South Australia the best. In Europe, meanwhile, museums and

in History, heritage, and colonialism