In the footsteps of maverick Orientalists: Exploring the Royal Asiatic Society archive

Start: Mar 13, 2018 06:00 PM
End: Mar 13, 2018 07:00 PM

Location: Room 209, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Exploring the Royal Asiatic Society archive

Nancy Charley and Ed Weech (Royal Asiatic Society) will give a seminar organised by the Institute's History of Archaeology Research Network at the Institute on 13 March.

The Royal Asiatic Society is an independent society dedicated to promoting scholarly research and public interest in the histories and cultures of Asia. One of the ways the Society does this is through providing access to historical collections of books, manuscripts, archives, art and photos that the Society has accrued since its founding in 1823.

In this talk, Nancy Charley (Archivist) and Ed Weech (Librarian) will talk about how the Society’s collections can help us understand the work of previous generations of British Orientalists, with a focus on several “maverick” scholars: the Sinologist and mathematician Thomas Manning (1772-1840); explorer and polymath Sir Richard Burton (1821-1890), and his wife and partner Isabel, Lady Burton (1831-1896); and the mountaineer and collector Oscar Eckenstein (1859-1921). While a pursuit of foreign cultures and experiences could place such figures at odds with the mainstream of polite opinion or official policy, it also gave them a distinctive point of view on their compatriots and British society. Moreover, their work helped define how British people understood and imagined the wider world.

All welcome!

The Institute's History of Archaeology Research Network brings together a critical evaluation, examination and presentation of archival material and object collections, and comprises a strong inter-disciplinary element; including strong links to the history of science, art and museum collections, social and cultural history, architecture and tourism. It also provides a valuable route for public access to archaeology, enhancing the quality of archaeology’s impact on the public.

Any enquiries about the event may be directed to Amara Thornton.