Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
+44 (0)20 7323 8041
Anthropology Library and Research Centre
+44 (0)20 7323 8031
The collection of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas includes around 350,000 objects, representing the cultures of the indigenous peoples of four continents.
The scope of the collection is contemporary, archaeological and historical, and includes a large pictorial collection. It comprises most of Africa (outside Ancient Egypt, Sudan and the Mediterranean), the Pacific and Australia, as well as North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Most of the collections were acquired during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, though research and collecting continues today.
The Anthropology Library and Research Centre includes the Museum's Anthropology Library and provides access to information about its ethnographic collections, as well as an identification service; all enquiries are welcome.
10.00–17.00, Monday to Wednesday, Friday
Closed: weekends, Bank Holidays and 24 December – 1 January
Research and training
Current research projects
- Africa (Room
The Sainsbury Galleries
- Ethiopia and Coptic Egypt (Room 66)
- Enlightenment (Room 1)
- Living and Dying (Room
The Wellcome Trust Gallery
- Mexico (Room 27)
America (Room 26)
The JP Morgan Chase Gallery
28 November 2014
Jorge De Torres, Cataloguer, African rock art image project
26 November 2014
Jack Davy, Collaborative Doctoral Student, British Museum
3 October 2014
Elizabeth Galvin, curator, British Museum
Exhibitions and events
Before going on display, members of the Sierra Leonean community in London asked that they conduct a ceremony to give the mask a name.
British Sign Language (BSL) videos
220 items of gold regalia from the West African state of Asante in modern-day Ghana.
Curators and staff in the department regularly publish research on the collection.
Curator and Section Head of Americas
Curator: African Rock Art Image Project
Curator and Section Head of Africa
Curator: North African Collections, Africa Programme Coordinator
Curator and Section Head of Oceania
Curator: Northeast, East and South Africa