Analysing the English Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

Short biographies of the Fellows of the Anthropological Institute in 1900-1901

Peter Rivière ('Other Within' research associate)

Access to the Fellows database) no longer works, to seek information about the information it contained please send request to sma@prm.ox.ac.uk.

Henry Balfour, Arthur Thomson and R.R. Marett (front row), 3 Fellows of the Anthropological Institute in 1900 [1998.271.11]

Henry Balfour, Arthur Thomson and R.R. Marett (front row), 3 Fellows of the Anthropological Institute in 1900 [1998.271.11]

To search the database of AI fellows, go here. [Our apologies, this link (and access to the Fellows database) no longer works AP August 2014, you can contact us to see if we can provide any information to answer your query at sma@prm.ox.ac.uk] To read advice on how to use this database, see below.

As part of the Pitt Rivers Museum’s Other Within project it was thought valuable to have a look at the Fellowship of the Royal Anthropological Institute [RAI] to see how it was constituted and to what extent its Fellows were associated with the Pitt Rivers Museum collections, in particular the English objects. Rather than undertake a general survey of the RAI Fellowship it was decided to concentrate on a single year and 1900 was selected, when it was still the plain Anthropological Institute. The total number of Ordinary Fellows in that year was 297, of whom 76 were collectors, owners or donors of objects to the Pitt Rivers, of whom, in turn, 22 are associated with English objects. There are only two of these 22 who are solely connected with English objects.

The year 1900-1 was chosen for various reasons. First, a full list of the fellowship was published in The Journal of the Anthropological Institute (30: 3-12) that year, although the database is restricted to Ordinary Fellows, excluding Honorary and Corresponding Fellows. Second, sufficient time had elapsed since the merger of the Anthropological Society of London and the Ethnological Society of London for the ructions relating to that event mainly to have been forgotten and the fellowship to have settled down. Third, the Pitt Rivers Museum, founded in 1884, had by that year become a firmly established and recognized institution. Fourth, it was just prior to anthropology becoming a university subject and the increasing professionalization that followed on from that – in other words, it was still was what Gosden, Larson and Petch have called a ‘participatory anthropology’, a subject of interested amateurs.

There are certain points about the database of which any user should be made aware. First, the amount of information about individuals is highly variable in quantity and quality. In some cases, nothing other than the information contained in the List of Fellows has been discovered, that is to say; name, initials and address, and in one case not even the last. In other cases, there is far more information available than can be fitted into the database, the Fellow in question being the subject of one or more biographies, or even an autobiographer. Second, there is no doubt that additional information is likely to emerge on many of the individuals which will be added to the database as it becomes available. For example, it is almost certain that more people were connected to the British Association of the Advancement of Science than the database records. The reason for this was that it was so normal for anyone in or on the periphery of the scientific world to attend its annual meetings that many did not bother to record the fact in what is now Who was who.

There is also huge variation in the involvement by individual Fellows with the Institute. Some were Fellows for a very short time, a few for only one or two years; others became Life Fellows but never seemed to have played any active part in the Institute; others, and not merely those well known in anthropological circles, like Tylor and Balfour, were deeply engaged, attending monthly meetings and publishing in its journals. There is no necessary fit between that last class of Fellows and the amount we know about them. The RAI has been very inconsistent in its publication of obituaries and the deaths of many who were much involved with it have passed with none or the barest of record.

Visitors to this website can find additional and complementary biographical information on the Relational Museum website (http://history.prm.ox.ac.uk/) .

Advice on using the database:

You need to enter a name of a fellow of the Anthropological Institute in 1900 and full details will then be provided. The full list to search from is given here.

List of people who appear on the database:

John Abercromby
William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst
George M. Atkinson
Henry Balfour
Herbert Joseph Weld Blundell
Adela Catherine Breton
Margaret Lili Alice Brooke
John Allen Brown
Frederick William Christian
Edward Clodd
Henry C. Collyer
James Edward Crombie
William Crooke
John Winter Crowfoot
Arthur John Evans
John Evans
Stanley S. Flower
Henry Ogg Forbes
John George Garson
Arthur Charles Hamilton Stanmore Gordon
William Gowland
Francis Llewellyn Griffith
Alfred Cort Haddon
Harry Reginald Holland Hall
Norman H. Hardy
Edwin Sidney Hartland
Dudley Francis Amellus Hervey
Sydney John Hickson
Thomas Vere Hodgson
Charles Hose
Osbert H. Howarth
Anatole von Hugel
Henry Hamilton Johnston
Heywood Walter Seton-Karr
Eustace John Kitts
William James Knowles
Andrew Lang
George Fabian Lawrence
Charles James Longman
Hugh Low
John Lubbock
Arthur Cruttenden Mace
David Randall-MacIver
Robert Craig Maclagan
Edward Horace Man
Robert Ranulph Marett
Richard Biddulph Martin
Alfred Percival Maudslay
John Linton Myres
James Edge Partington
Augusta Louisa Peek
Cuthbert Edgar Peek
William Matthew Flinders Petrie
Maurice Vidal Portman
Charles Hercules Read
Herbert Hope Risley
Henry Ling Roth
Archibald Henry Sayce
Charles Gabriel Seligman
Robert Walter Campbell Shelford
Walter William Skeat
Worthington George Smith
Henry Boyle Townshend Somerville
Richard Carnac Temple
Arthur Thomson
Everard Ferdinand Im Thurn
Coutts Trotter
Anna Rebecca Tylor
Edward Burnett Tylor
Lawrence Augustine Waddell
Moreton J. Walhouse
Alfred Russel Wallace
William Downing Webster
Franklin White