The University of Aberdeen’s ethnographic collections from the Pacific reflect the activities of travellers, collectors and alumni from Aberdeen. There are around 3000 items, the majority of which are from Papua New Guinea.

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Above: Chantal Knowles (Head of Cultural Environments, Queensland Museum and previous Principal Curator, Oceania, Americas and Africa at National Museums Scotland), Eve Haddow (Project Curator) and Neil Curtis (Head of Museums at University of Aberdeen) in the museum stores at University of Aberdeen Museums collections centre.

Some of the earliest objects in the collection were donated by Christopher Nockells, who graduated from Kings College in 1816 and collected Maori artefacts and other items from Polynesia while in the Pacific from 1816-23. Colonial activity is represented by material collected by colonial administrators, such as Arthur JL Gordon (Fiji) and William MacGregor (Fiji and New Guinea), and Lord and Lady Stonehaven (New Guinea and Australia). Missionary activity is exemplified by the collections of Frederick Bowie and Jeannie Mutch who were in Vanuatu in 1896-1933.  As with some other donors, their collection includes personal notebooks and photographs.

Use the links below to access more information on the Pacific collection at University of Aberdeen Museums. These are a research tool for anyone interested in finding out more. The museum also has an online database.

Pacific collections at University of Aberdeen

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