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Collecting and the Body in Late-Victorian and Edwardian Museums

  • Kate Hill
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)

Abstract

In 1880, a donation of the hair of Edward II was given to, and accepted by, Leicester Museum, apparently with no provenance (though the donor’s father was a local historian).1 This was merely the most startling of a number of donations of objects with strong bodily connections made to generally small, local museums in the period 1880–1914. Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s hair was given to Bristol Museum in 1902, and gloves from the Franklin expedition were given to Leicester Museum in 1892; additionally, a pillion on which the donor’s grandmother rode behind Sir Isaac Newton was also given to Leicester Museum in 1896, and the cap of a Mahdi soldier was given to Warrington Museum in 1904.2 Additionally, several objects associated solely with the donor’s family were also donated to museums, and again show a close connection with the actual bodies of these ancestors. Examples include a muslin neckerchief belonging to and made by the donor’s mother and a baby’s bonnet from the donor’s family.3

Keywords

Early Nineteenth Century Bodily Object Egyptian Mummy Popular Attitude Public Museum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© Kate Hill 2012

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  • Kate Hill

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