Discovering Worlds: Africa

Where academic and curatorial research into museum collections make a difference.

Balls of cotton on the Niger Balls of cotton on the Niger

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