Towards the end of his life from around 1885, Pitt-Rivers seems to have begun to think more deeply about how he believed Museums in Great Britain should be arranged. His ideas are clearly very closely based upon his own arrangements of objects into series, typologies etc and on his own belief in the interrelation between modern 'Arts' and archaeological remains.

This page gives easy access to the successive publications on this topic.

BAAS Bath Address to the Anthropological Section, 1888, '... the means to be taken to promulgate anthropological knowledge...'

Lecture at Blackmore Museum, Salisbury, 1889-90, 'On the Uses and Arrangements of Arts Museums', especially the end:

My plan would be a large Rotunda, the exhibition cases of which should be arranged in concentric rings, as shewn in the accompanying diagram. In the inner ring would be exhibited, objects belonging to the Palaeolithic Period, which containing in the fewest [insert] earliest [end insert] and simplest forms of stone Implements, would occupy the least space. The next ring would be devoted to Neolithic implements, which by their relative complexity and number would fill a larger ring. The Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, Early English, and Medoeval [sic] Periods, would occupy successive rings [insert] to which their relative complexity would well adapt them [end insert] and the outer circles of all would be given to Modern Arts, shewing their development from those of Antiquity. Instead of originals, reproductions, and Models would be largely employed, thereby avoiding the rivalry of the Research Museums. Any visitor who wished to know the place in Art or Nature, of the subject he was studying, instead of having to refer to elaborate Catalogues, that he might not understand, would simply notice his position, with reference to the centre, and the circumference of the Rotunda.

Lecture at the Society of Arts, 1891, 'Typological Museums', published Journal of the Society of Arts, Dec 18, 1891 pp. 115-122.

Pitt-Rivers' views in 1898 about museum arrangement, as expressed in a letter to F.W. Rudler

A missing lecture transcript (which does not seem to have survived) is the talk he gave at the University of Oxford on 30 April 1891, entitled 'The Original Collection of the Pitt-Rivers Museum: its Principles of Arrangement and History'. This lecture, in effect, was the opening ceremony for the Museum whose displays had just fully opened to the public.

AP, August 2011.

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