The UCL Ethnography Collections
The UCL Ethnography Collections was created at in the 1940s by Darryl Forde, the first head of UCL Anthropology and was drawn from a number of different sources including The Wellcome Non-Medical Collection, The London Missionary Society, the British Museum, as well as a number of private donations and collections made during fieldwork. The collection comprises about 2000 objects and 3000 photographs representing cultures from all five continents, with particular strengths in Africa and Oceania. most of the objects have been produced in the 19th and 20th centuries with a small amount of paleolithic and neolithic, Pre-dynastic Egyptian, and Pre-Columbian collections. Today, the collection is a resource for teaching and every undergraduate and masters student in the anthropology department engage with the objects during their courses. We also host visiting researchers and artists and have loaned objects for exhibitions both across UCL, and beyond.
To explore the collection, click on this link to the searchable catalogue of the objects held by UCL Ethnographic Collections. Please note that some of the wording in the catalogues has come directly from historic documents and therefore may now appear outdated and even offensive. The historical value of seeing how objects were perceived at the time they became part of collections (or even before) is an important part of the object's history. Visits by appointment only on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.