Projects with the British Museum’s Collections

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The Central and South America collection contains approximately 62,000 objects, of which just 0.6% is currently on display to the public.

This platform illustrates the many and varying kinds of collections research that the Centre actively supports the remaining 99.4%. Many of the objects held in anthropology museums were collected for scientific purposes. Early anthropologists put together comparative collections in order to extrapolate grand historical narratives.

These objects have since been regarded as holding immutable value and their importance has been linked to their capacity to accumulate knowledge through time.

The Centre co-develops projects that contest these assumptions to show that the objects in the museum’s collections have shifting and evolving meanings, and that their histories reflect political realities.

The Centre provides physical access to our collections, and the digitisation of this work has the potential to reach and engage audiences worldwide.