Discovering Worlds: Africa
Where academic and curatorial research into museum collections make a difference.
Discovering Worlds: Africa encompasses new research, conservation, documentation and re-interpretation of RAMM’s Africa collection to transform the visitor experience.
The project focuses on material from West, Central, East and South Africa plus a selection of significant donors where there exists a paucity of information and meaningful interpretation.
New research will allow the museum to considerably enrich the collection’s documentation by cataloguing and photographing 2000 items (two-thirds of the collection) which are currently inadequately recorded.
The result will be to transform the public’s perception of RAMM’s Africa collections with new displays and online content that will reveal the stories behind many of the museum’s outstanding African artefacts and their cultural context – both historic and from a modern African perspective. The project will bring additional artefacts from store to public display, telling stories of their origins and of the collectors.
Some of RAMM’s most important African pieces were acquired during the British colonial period by political officers, military personnel, travellers and Christian missionaries.
However, RAMM’s collections also contain material that reflects modern Africa and its links with the wider world – not currently reflected in the displays.
Project completion date: 31st March 2018
Funded research that highlights a selection of donors who gifted their African collections to RAMM.
Funded research by scholars and curators is a valuable tool in helping us to better understand the nature of museum collections. We ask who collected these objects? Why? And how did they acquire them? Through in-depth study we are also able to open the stories behind the objects and those of the artisans and artists behind them.