Kadi of Khartoum. Copyright Pitt Rivers Museum.
Kadi of Khartoum. Copyright Pitt Rivers Museum.

Pitt Rivers Museum

An RAF biplane flying over Kassala. Copyright Pitt Rivers Museum.
Pitt Rivers Museum

The Pitt Rivers Museum holds the archaeological and anthropological collections of the University of Oxford in England. It was founded in 1884, when General Pitt-Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University of Oxford. The collections include a significant number of items from Sudan and South Sudan.

General Pitt Rivers's founding gift contained more than 26,000 items. Now there are over half a million objects, photographs and manuscripts from all over the world and from all periods of human existence. Many of the collections are unique records of anthropological fieldwork and travel, a number of which have been extensively researched and published. Today the Museum is an active teaching department of the University of Oxford. It continues to expand its collections through donations, bequests and special purchases, as well as through students in the course of their fieldwork.

The Museum  has over 13,000 photographic items from Sudan and South Sudan, and more than 5,000 artefacts. The extensive photographic collections include some of the earliest photographs of the Sudans and of the African interior. The photographs and artefacts from South Sudan were the subject of a major research project in 2003-5 and resulted in a website that brought them to global attention https://southernsudan.prm.ox.ac.uk/. The Museum is still working extensively with both South Sudanese and diaspora members on the legacies of these items.

A sample of photos recorded in Sudan and South Sudan from a number of collections are available to view on Sudan Memory. Further items can be accessed via the Pitt Rivers Museum website.

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