Museums, Archives and Histories of Knowledge

Museums, Archives and Histories of Knowledge


We have long-standing interests and expertise in collections-based research in public and private archives and in museums on topics that thematically are related to Museum Anthropology, Historical Anthropology and Histories of Science and Technology.  All our work using historical collections - including those of the University's Museums and Special Archives Collections - generates new scholarly research, but much of it is also concerned with making collections accessible to wider audiences, particularly in the regions from which those materials originated. The research in this area of Aberdeen staff and students has been at the forefront of methodological and theoretical innovations in curatorial and archival practice.


Narrative Objects: the Sakha Summer Festival and Cultural Revitalization
Alison Brown, Tatiana Argounova-Low, and Eleanor Peers

Personal Transcripts of Land Entitlement Expeditions
David Anderson
This project is funded by a British Academy Leverhulme Trust: Small Grant and examines the diaries and correspondence of biologists and geographers travelling with indigenous peoples in Siberia in the 1930s.

The Franz Boas Papers
Robert Wishart


Anthropology staff and students are also regularly involved in projects that explore science and visual culture beyond museums, and which have a public focus through the curation of exhibitions in Aberdeen as well as internationally. Wherever we can, we incorporate this work into our undergraduate teaching, for example, AT2515 Re-Imagining Colonialism and AT403A Anthropology, Museums and Society, and into our postgraduate training as part of the MLitt Museum Studies programme. The department also attracts many PhD students with interests in museums, history and heritage broadly defined. Our graduates have gone on to positions in many prestigious museums, including the British Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.


Sacred Gates

Sacred Gates. Designed and built by Ernest Aekseev, Sakha (Yakutiia), Russia. Photo by Tanya Argounova-Low