The Object Biographies section of the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers website includes information about some of the artefacts in the founding collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford and those which used to be in the Pitt-Rivers Museum at Farnham, Dorset, or in Pitt-Rivers' private residences in London and on his country estate, Rushmore. All objects have a life (or series of different lives). They are made, used and then come into the museum where they can be involved in a number of different life-trajectories (stored, displayed, used in teaching etc). Pretty much every artefact has an interesting story of some kind that can be told about it and this part of the site aims to tell some of those stories for some of the objects associated with Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers.
The idea of including a section of a project website for articles about specific objects began with the ESRC-funded 'Other Within' project (2006-2009). The idea was so successful that it has been repeated for this project. Members of staff at the Pitt Rivers Museum at Oxford and students who study there are invited to submit an article on any artefact of their choosing from the two collections (the first are detailed in the PRM object and photographic catalogues, the second in the catalogues held by Cambridge University Library, details of which will be available on this site). Apart from a little light editing by the project team the object biographies are added to the website as the original author intended. The variety and choice of artefacts is, therefore, fairly random, showing the tastes and interests of a wide variety of individuals associated with the museum at Oxford today. There was no set format to the articles but everyone was asked to identify the object by accession number (if they were in the Oxford collection), whether it was on display (ditto), and provide outline data from the museum's documentation before discussing the aspects of the object that appealled most to them. Contributors were also asked to consider what light their object biography threw on the Pitt-Rivers' collections as a whole.
We hope that these varied articles will appeal to general readers as well as scholars.
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