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Events in the history of the Pitt Rivers Museum that took place in 1854.

Readers are reminded that this table is a work in progress and may be amended or added to at any time.

Go to 1853

Month Day Event Source of Information Notes
January No day  A new Delegacy of University appointed to consider the question of erecting a new Museum. 'The plan had now been suggested that 'the Museum should consist of a large central court, roofed in with glass, to contain the collections, and surrounded on three sides with lecture rooms and laboratories, arranged on two floors, the fourth side being reserved for future additions.' 'A new Committee was appointed in 1854 to consider the question of erecting the building; when the Committee's report had been approved by Convocation a Delegacy was appointed in 1855 by Convocation and the Committee dissolved itself, its labours transferred to the new Museum Delegates who then offered a competition for suitable designs, the architect finany selected being Benjamin Woodward of the Dublin firm of Deane, Woodward, and Deane.' Vernon 1909: 53;  Davies and Hull 1975 Zoological Collections see below to section on The Statement ... 
April 22 Pitt-Rivers embarks to serve in Crimea See here
[Early summer] Rowell cleans and reorganizes Ashmolean Museum under instruction of John Phillips Ovenell, 1986: 215 The museum had become very dirty during previous Keeper's reigns.
August early Cholera epidemic in Oxford, Acland, and Rolleston, work hard on treatment enhancing their reputations in the city DNB entry 
October by 32 prospective designs for new Museum received, exhibited in gallery of Radcliffe Library. From these 6 were selected by Delegacy which were submitted to firm of architects for criticism Vernon, 1909: 54
October 15 Pitt-Rivers service in Crimea ends when he is found unfit for service
See here
October late Cholera epidemic in Oxford ends DNB entry
December 11 The winning design for new museum was chosen Vernon, 1909: 58 
Unspecified 4 more acres of land purchased for new OUMNH from Merton College Learn More Museum Architecture OUMNH website See also 1853
Unspecified A Statement of the Requirements of the Oxford University Museum is issued by the third delegacy Berry, 2003: 227-8 The design of the University Museum was also set out in the Statement, it was to be of two storeys, ‘in it were to be specialized museums or apparatus rooms for medicine, physiology and anatomy, zoology, geology, mineralogy, chemistry and experimental philosophy. In addition there were to be seven lecture-rooms (including one capable of seating 500), a library, a detached residence for the Curator (later redesignated as Keeper), accommodation for a porter and two servants, and generous provision for laboratories and dissecting rooms, private work-rooms, store-rooms, workshops and individual sitting-rooms for the professors and readers, including the Savilian Professors of Astronomy and Geometry and the Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy. Most importantly, easy communication was to be ensured by the arrangement of the facilities around the three sides of a common central courtyard roofed in glass, leaving the fourth side for future extension.’ [Fox, 1997: 651]
Unspecified Rolleston qualifies as MB at Barts DNB entry
Unspecified Tylor travels to Italy, Germany, Austria and France   Relational Museum timelines, Megan Price, pers comm.


Go to 1855


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