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Dr Henrietta Lidchi is a Research Fellow in the Department of Scottish History & Archaeology.

Henrietta Lidchi

From 2017-2021 Dr Henrietta Lidchi is seconded as the Principal Investigator on the AHRC funded project Baggage and Belonging: Military Collections and the British Empire (1750-1900) (Standard Research Grant Ref: AH/P006752/1). This research project considers the material legacies of colonial military campaigns held in regimental and museums and places these in an interdisciplinary research framework. The project focuses on the practices, culture and significance of British military collecting of artefacts from Africa and India from 1750 to1900. 

Henrietta Lidchi is currently Chief Curator at the National Museum of World Cultures (Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen) in the Netherlands. From 2005 to 2017, she was Keeper of the Department of World Cultures, National Museums Scotland.  Prior to this (1994-2002) she worked at the British Museum and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2002-2005). Lidchi earned her degree at Durham University and her PhD at the Open University.

Henrietta is an Honorary Professor of the School of Political and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh, an International Advisory Board Member, Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage, Humboldt University, Berlin and former Vice President of the Native American Art Studies Association (2016-2020). Between 2019-2020, Lidchi served on the Dutch national advice committee whose report Colonial Collections and a Recognition of Injustice (Council for Culture, 2020) was commissioned to inform Dutch national policy on questions of restitution, repatriation and return. She is a named co-investigator for the research strand on military collections on the research grant Pressing Matters: Ownership, Value and the Question of Colonial Heritage in Museums, funded by the National Science Agenda of the Netherlands. 

Her research interests include working questions of colonial collecting and the history of collections; practices of representation, collecting and display; visual culture; questions of craft and craft practice and Native North American art and material culture.

Selected publications

  1. Lidchi, H. and Hartwell. N. (2021) ‘Of objects, memory and sentiment: understanding the performance of colonial objects in British military museums’, Museums, Society and the Creation of Value edited by H. Morphy and McKenzie R. (eds.). Routledge.
  2. Lidchi, H. and Allan, S. (eds.) (2020) Dividing the Spoils: Perspectives on military collecting and the British Empire, Manchester University Press, 324pp.
  3. MacDonald, S., Lidchi H. and van Oswald M. Oswald (2017) ‘Introduction: The Burdens and Potentials of the Past - Engaging Anthropological Legacies toward Cosmo-optimistic Futures?’ Museum Worlds, 5, pp.97-109.
  4. Lidchi, H. (2017) ‘Conjunctures and Convergences: Remaking the World Cultures Displays at the National Museum of Scotland’, Museum Worlds, 5, pp179-198.
  5. Lidchi, H. and Ataumbi, K. (2017) ‘Recrafting Traditions and Materializing Memories: A conversation with Keri Ataumbi’, Statement of Practice, Journal of Modern Craft, 10:2, pp 175-192.
  6. Allan, S. and Lidchi, H. ‘Re-capturing the British imperial past’, in Ambassadors of Dialogue, International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History/International Committee of Museums of Decorative Arts and Designs: Krakow, pp.39-47.

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