5 July 2016

MEG Occasional paper on Cook Voyage Collections now available

Mock up of new Cook Voyage display at the Pitt Rivers Museum

MEG’s latest Occasional Paper (number 5) has just been published. Cook-Voyage Collections of ‘Artificial Curiosities’ in Britain and Ireland, 1771–2015 comprises detailed accounts of some of the most important ethnographic collections from Cook voyages, including those of the British Museum, the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthrpology, the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, the National Museum of Ireland (ex Trinity College Dublin), and National Museums Scotland. As well as providing a wealth of new information about what was collected on the voyages and how it was distributed - including illustrated accounts of recently identified objects at the British Museum, the Bowes Museum, and elsewhere - the volume also contains detailed accounts of what has been done with the collections from the time of their arrival in Britain and Ireland in the 1770s through to today. 

Contents: 300 pp., 106 black-and-white figures; Jeremy Coote, ‘Introduction’; Jennifer Newell, ‘Revisiting Cook at the British Museum’; Amiria Salmond, ‘Artefacts of Encounter: The Cook-Voyage Collections in Cambridge’; Jeremy Coote, ‘The Cook-Voyage Collections at Oxford, 1772-2015’; Rachel Hand, ‘“A Number of Highly Interesting Objects”: The Cook-Voyage Collections of Trinity College Dublin’; Dale Idiens and Chantal Knowles, ‘Cook-Voyage Collections in Edinburgh, 1775–2011’; Leslie Jessop, ‘Cook-Voyage Collections in North-East England, with a Preliminary Report on a Group of Māori Pendants Apparently Traceable to the First Voyage’; Adrienne L. Kaeppler, ‘From the South Seas to the World (via London)’.
The volume is available from: Sue Giles (MEG Publications), Senior World Cultures Curator, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, Queen’s Road, Bristol BS8 1RL; sue.giles@bristol.gov.uk; UK, £17.50; Europe, £22.00; World, £26.00 (including postage and packing).
‘These essays contain a wealth of new information about enormously significant early-voyage collections in the UK and Ireland. This book will be a vital resource for all curators and researchers interested in the Pacific, in Cook's voyages, and the issues the voyages raise.’ (Professor Nicholas Thomas, Director, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge.)
‘These excellent papers are essential reading for everyone interested in forensic ethnography, cultural relations, and the rude good health of museum anthropology in the UK. Cook-voyage studies, which only began in the 1970s, are in all their permutations, at the foundation of best curatorial practice.’ (Jonathan King, Former Keeper of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum.)


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