In the 1877 catalogue of the displays at Bethnal Green Museum, listed here, the first series discussed is that for physical anthropology. This is similar to, but not identical too the series list given in the Black book pages 52-3, headed 'Series of Human Skulls'. For ease of reference the 1877 catalogue entries are given below the Black book entries.

This series, listed in the Black Book only, is preceded by four entries for groups of objects (animalia). These are just slipped at the end of a list of percussive musical instruments but clearly do not relate to them. Presumably they formed a separate series. Details of these are given at the very end.

Black book entries

Series of Human Skulls

Black 1347 Skull of human foetus (1)

Black 1348 Skull of Australian (6)

Black 1349 Skull of Ethiopian Negro with lower jaw (8)

Black 1350 Skull of Negro, Old Calabar (9)

Black 1351 Skull believed to be Australian (7)

Black 1352 Skull with lower jaw, believed to be N. American Indian (10)

Black 1353 Skull, Californian, from the cemetery of the Church of the old Mission of San Carlos near Monterey, Mexico (11)

Black 1354 Skull of Patagonian (12)

Black 1355 Skull of New Zealander (13)

Black 1356 Skull of Chinese (14)

Black 1357 Anglo-Saxon from the crypt at Thorpe Mallow Northampton 1840 (16)

Black 1358 & 9 Skull, English, modern one with lower jaw (21 & 22)

Black 1360 Irish skull, elongated form, found several feet beneath the burial ground of Cork Cathedral in digging foundations (18)

Black 1361 Irish skull, modern of Female. From Kilcrea Abbey Co. Cork, with very low frontal development (19)

Black 1362 Skull found in a grave in Highdown Hill with a bronze socket dagger belonging to the Coll'n Found by Col. Fox with another jawbone 1867 (17)

Black 1363 Cast of Neanderthal Skull (4)

Black 1364 Cast of Engis Skull (5)

Black 1365 Cast of Negritic skull. Example of narrowest form of skull (2)

Black 1366 Cast of Tartar's skull. Example of broader form of skull (3)

Black 1367 Skull of female, found in Twyn Capel Holyhead I. Comparatively modern (20)

Note: Not all the above objects can be matched to objects on the founding collection. An undated note added by Beatrice Blackwood (judging by handwriting) states: '1347-1385. These skulls & casts, except where marked [mark], probably remained in the Dept. of Zoology, with Moseley, or went to the Dept. of Human Anatomy. Some casts were found in a bad & broken condition in Museum House, & destroyed. See A.L.F. 1877 page 2 onward. Those marked [mark] are in the P.R. Mus.' An added note 'No. 22 (modern English skull) handed over 2 February 1954'. Blackwood had herself worked with the human anatomy collections in the Oxford University Museum before she worked at the Pitt Rivers Museum, she may have recalled the skulls from that time. It is now believed that the note is correct and that the physical anthropology specimens were transferred from South Kensington Museum to Oxford in 1885, but that the physical anthropological specimens were diverted into another department and never entered the Pitt Rivers Museum, except where matched to accession numbers below. Further details therefore about the specimens listed above should be sought from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Black 1368 Skull of Qua-qua, Fort Rupert, Vancouver's Is. Artificially compressed (23) 1884.86.4

Black 1869 Skull Vancouver's Is, artificially elongated (24) 1884.86.2

Black 1370 Skull, Peruvian, artificially compressed (25) 1884.86.7

Black 1371 Skull, Peruvian, from Titicaca. Artificially elongated. Very remarkable specimen (26) 1884.86.9

Black 1371A Cast of Head Lap & Swede (?27)

Black 1371B Cast of Head Lap & Fin From Russian Finland (?28)

Black 1372 Head of a captured Indian Chief. Xebaroe Ecuador Artificially shrunk (29) 1884.115.2

Black 1373 Head of a sloth, similarly treated (ie shrunk) (30) 1884.115.1

Black 1374 Papuan Wig, with human hair N. Guinea 1884.106.52 or 1884.106.55

Black 1375 Tray cont'g specimens of hair, N. Australian, Papuan & Polynesian tribes (?33)

Black 1376 Tray cont'g specimens of hair, N. Zealand, N. Caledonia, Long tags from N. Guinea, Mummy's hair from Palmyra obted by Cap. Burton

Black 1377 Ape's foot on stand (43)

Black 1378 Skeleton of human foot (42)

Black 1379 Hand of a chimpanzee

1380-4 Molars of Elephants of different species. Two cut longitudinally (3810) Added note in BB's handwriting: 'Museum House'

1385 Molar of Elephas Antiquus or Primigenius Worthing Sussex (3810) Added note in BB's handwriting: 'Museum House'

Added note on page 53 '1523 1524e Elongated (artificially) skull New Hebrides (v page 61)'

1877 Catalogue Part I

Typical human skulls and hair of different races

Case 1 East Wall

1. Skull of human foetus 1884.86.6
2. Cast of Negritic skull Not in founding collection
3. Cast of Tartar skull Not in founding collection
4. Cast of Neanderthal (Elberfeld) skull Not in founding collection
5. Cast of Engis skull Not in founding collection
6. Skull [Australian] Not in founding collection
7. Skull [Australian] Not in founding collection
8. Skull [Ethiopian] Not in founding collection
9. Skull [Ethiopian] Not in founding collection
10. Skull [North American Indian] Not in founding collection
11. Skull [Californian Indian] Not in founding collection
12. Skull [Patagonian Indian] Not in founding collection
13. Skull [New Zealander] Not in founding collection
14. Skull [Chinese] Not in founding collection
15. Skull [Romano-British] 1884.140.36
16. Skull [Anglo-Saxon] Not in founding collection
17. Skull [Highdown Hill, Sussex] 1884.140.149
18. Skull [Irish] ?1884.140.237
19. Skull [Modern Irish] Not in founding collection
20. Skull [Holyhead] 1884.140.150
21. Skull [English] Not in founding collection, probably the skull which is held by Oxford University Museum OUM 17718
22. Skull [English] Not in founding collection
23. Skull [Vancouver Island] 1884.86.4
24. Skull [Vancouver Island] 1884.86.2
25. Skull [Peruvian] 1884.86.7
26. Skull [Peruvian] 1884.86.9
27. Cast of head [Lap/ Swede] Not in founding collection
28. Cast of head [Lap / Fin] Not in founding collection
29. Head [Xebaroe [Shuar]] 1884.115.2
30. Head [Sloth] 1884.115.1
31. Specimens of Africa Negro hair Not in founding collection
32. Specimens of Papuan hair 1884.106.24-29
33. Specimens of hair [Papuan, New Guinea, Australian] 1884.106.24-29
34. Hair [New Caledonia] 1884.106.30 and 31
35. Hair [New Zealander] Not in founding collection
36. Hair [W. coast S. America] 1884.106.36, 37, 39
37. Hair [NW coast N. America] 1884.106.38
38. Hair [Malay] 1884.106.32
39. Hair [Mummy Palmyra] 1884.106.40
40. Specimens of hair [English family] Not in founding collection
41. Skeleton monkey foot Not in founding collection
42 Skeleton human foot Not in founding collection
43 Hand of chimpanzee. Not in founding collection

Animalia listed in black book

Black 1346 Series of animals skulls ?60 in all

Black 1346a Hippopotamus skull with tusks (1343)

Black 1346b Young elephant's skull with tusks (3322)

Black 1346c Skull of a walrus with tusks 3324

AP, April 2011.

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