Donald Macbeth, One of the Ethnography Galleries, a photograph

The British Museum, London, England, AD 1908

In 1883, with the move of the Natural History collections of The British Museum to a new site in South Kensington, the Ethnography collections could expand from a single room in the South Wing to the whole of the top floor of the East Wing. Here the growing collections could be displayed in five spacious rooms. However, with so much material they were soon filled. This photograph of 1908 shows that all available exhibition space had been used.

In 1970 the Ethnography Department moved to Burlington Gardens near Piccadilly, and became the Museum of Mankind. This closed in 1998 and the Ethnography collections have now returned to the main British Museum site in Bloomsbury.

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More information


M. Caygill, The story of The British Museu (London, The British Museum Press, 1998)


Height: 203.000 mm
Width: 254.000 mm

Museum number

Archives CE114/855


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