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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 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
Noni Jabavu, an unconventional South African in London
Andrea Thorpe

from Noni Jabavu to Denis and Jean Keenan-Smith, 22 August 1995, Amazwi South African Museum of Literature). She recalls the sexism she experienced as one of the first seven women who was called up into the aircraft production line. After training to work on Halifax bombers, the women were sent to De Havilland's aeroplane factory in north London; she describes them as ‘Seven shrimps in an ocean of male chauvinist workers whose jaws dropped at [the] sight of us’. A ladies’ restroom had not been organised for the newcomers, so they were forced to leave the factory and

in South African London
John McAleer

zoologist, was appointed the first superintendent of the South African Museum of Natural History in 1825. Zoological specimens were to be seen at the museum in Looyer’s Plein, while drawings were displayed around the corner at No. 2 Hope Street. 15 The assistant at the Royal Observatory in Cape Town, Charles Piazzi Smyth, visited the exhibition and was most impressed. The objects on display were illustrated by the accompanying artwork of Charles Davidson Bell, comprising nearly three hundred drawings. In his obituary for Bell, Smyth

in Curating empire
Negotiating curatorial challenges in the Zanzibar Museum
Sarah Longair

Gujerati were planned for the near future. An East African museum federation? During her tenure, Nicol Smith enthusiastically supported attempts to bring together curators of the East African museums. She felt keenly the challenge of working in isolation and the absence of a museum community as she had experienced in Cambridge. A South African Museums Association had existed since 1935. An enquiry from J. D. Clark, curator of the Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, received a lengthy and animated reply from Nicol Smith, including

in Curating empire
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The Albany Museum, Grahamstown
John M. MacKenzie

reminiscences in the Eastern Province Monthly Magazine 1907 and recounted that he was ordered to Grahamstown to take medical charge of the general and his staff. It was, he wrote, ‘a monotonous life’ with slight and repetitive daily duties, quoted in John Hewitt, ‘The Albany Museum, Grahamstown’, a pamphlet reprinted from the South African Museums Association Bulletin , 4, 4

in Museums and empire
Missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa
Nicky Rousseau

camps. G. Agamben, Homer Sacer (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998). SAPA, ‘Come clean: Mandela’. SABC, TRC Special Report, episode 45. Ibid. Ibid., episode 86, part 2, available at VMcTUDY&list=SPB5E49FFA382FFC46 (accessed 5 December 2013). The TRC also exhumed the body of a former guerrilla in the employ of security police whom they later killed owing to fears about his continued loyalty. C. Rassool & M. Legassick, Skeletons in the Cupboard: South African Museums and the Trade in Human Remains, 1907–1917 (Cape Town and

in Human remains and identification
The British Association in South Africa, 1905 and 1929
Saul Dubo

played a vital role in regulating the legal profession, circulating law reports and contributing to a national tradition of jurisprudence. Another significant focus of scientific activity was the cluster of museums which grew up in the second half of the nineteenth century. The oldest and most prestigious was the South African Museum in Cape Town which traced its origins back to 1825 but which was re

in Science and society in southern Africa
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John McAleer

exhibition of such images was attended by significant public interest in the works themselves and the natural phenomenon they depicted. It was an opportunity for colonists and settlers to take pride in the natural wonders of their new home, as well as to celebrate the intrepid artist-explorer who had successfully returned from them. Edgar Layard, the curator of the South African Museum, was charged with

in Representing Africa
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John M. MacKenzie
Nigel R. Dalziel

and other aspects of the political, economic, social and cultural transformations that are part of Anglicisation. When he turns to Kirsten McKenzie’s ‘rational public sphere’ in which middle-class identities are formed, he seems to assume that the founding of the South African Commercial Advertiser , the South African Museum and the South African Library were all part of a process of

in The Scots in South Africa