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Imagining the Pacific in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries: Collectors and Collections, Museums and Universities

Last updated: 8 February 2022

About the research

Melissa ShiressScotland, within a wider British context, has a long history of collecting Pacific material culture through links with Scottish soldiers, missionaries, traders, explorers and emigrants. This includes some of the earliest museum collections from the Hawaiian Islands collected during Captain James Cook’s third voyage (1776-80), early and rare objects from Hawaii and the Pitcairn Islands compiled by Captain Frederick Beechey’s voyage on HMS Blossom (1825-28), and significant material from the Austral Islands donated through Sir Thomas Brisbane, Governor of New South Wales (1821-5). 

Focusing on National Museums Scotland’s late 18th and early 19th century Pacific collections, this PhD will investigate the intellectual networks and connections between Scotland and the Pacific that led to the formation of these collections, and demonstrate their past and current relevance to a variety of stakeholders. In doing so it will explore the roles that these collections play now in the developing relationships between Scottish museums and museums in countries of origin.

Doctoral research project details

Project title

Imagining the Pacific in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries: Collectors and Collections, Museums and Universities

Student

Melissa Shiress

Project active

2020 - present

Funder

AHRC Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium (SCHC) – Collaborative Doctoral Partnership

University of East Anglia Supervisors

Professor Steven Hooper and Dr Karen Jacobs - Sainsbury Research Unit

Research theme

Scotland's Material Heritage, Identities and Cultural Contacts

Email icon Dr Ali Clark

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