Histories, contexts and meanings: classical archaeology in UK regional museums
15 May 2018, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm
Room 209. UCL Institute of Archaeology
Vicky Donnellan (British Museum) will give a seminar organised by the History of Archaeology Research Network at the UCL Institute of Archaeology on 15 May.
With a focus on the classical archaeology collections in UK regional museums, my research widens the study of classical museum collecting beyond the well-known institutions in London, Oxford and Cambridge. Drawing on my PhD research in six case study museums, this presentation discusses the intentions of these collections' founders, collectors and donors, the ways the collections were originally displayed and used, and the ways their role has developed over time.
Examples discussed will include the changing fortunes of Nottingham's collection from Lake Nemi, the contrasting histories of university collections in Reading and Newcastle, and the part played by private collectors. I conclude by exploring how my research with contemporary museum staff and visitors suggests the history of classical collections can both limit and enrich their role in museums today.