Annual Report for the year 1976-7
The Committee, having received the following report from the Curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum, presents it as its Report to Congregation.
The Committee met three times during the year, once in each term. The principal business was to discuss the progress of, and matters arising from, the construction of Stage I of the new museum building, and matters connected with the staff of the Museum.

It is with the greatest regret that we record the death on 16 January of Mr. T.K. Penniman, Curator Emeritus, who was Curator from 1939 to 1963. After his retirement he continued to take great interest in the affairs of the museum and gave invaluable help (with Miss B.M. Blackwood) as an editor of the Occasional Papers on Technology. The museum received a bequest under his Will.

We also record with deep regret the death in May of Mr. J.A. Clarke, attendant, who has been greatly missed by his friends on the museum staff.

Mr. B.A.L. Cranstone began duty as Curator in September. The Committee records its appreciation of Mr. R.R. Inskeep’s services as Acting Curator during the period following Mr. B.E.B. Fagg’s retirement in December 1975.

Miss E. Torr retired as Assistant Secretary and Assistant Librarian at the end of 1976 and Miss E.J.M. Edwards was appointed to the vacant post. The new post of Museum Assistant (Documentation) was filled by Mrs. Lynne Williamson. Mrs. Williamson’s duties are mainly those formerly carried out by Miss Blackwood, and after her death by Mrs. Sandford Gunn (in a voluntary capacity).

The General Board also agreed to establish posts for two additional technicians who will have special responsibility for the care and servicing of the collections.

Mrs. E. Sandford Gunn, who had served for five years as an Honorary Assistant Curator, relinquished her appointments in May. Her wide knowledge of the collections and of the records system will be greatly missed. Mr. G.E.S. Turner, whose advice on North American ethnology has long been valued, has accepted a change of title, from Honorary Assistant Curator to Honorary Consultant in North American Indian Ethnology. To Mrs. Sandford Gunn and Mr. Turner, and to others who have given the museum voluntary help for shorter periods, we offer grateful thanks.

Museum Matters
During the year it has been possible to provide somewhat improved facilities for students and research workers using the collections without seriously impeding essential museum operations which must have a higher priority. The institution of a service to the standard which all the staff would like to provide must await the completion of the new building, the long-continuing reorganisation of the collections, and the provision of additional staff and space. Assistant Curators now have special responsibility for academic matters within their personal fields of interest and for defined sections of the collections, but because of the small number of academic staff a considerable degree of flexibility and great width of knowledge are still required of them.

A number of loans have been made or agreed during the year. All except one have been to Oxford institutions (University or Local Authority). The exception is a loan of a small number of Captain Cook items to the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Hawaii, on conditions which provide maximum security and impose no expense on the Pitt Rivers Museum. Because of their demands on staff time as well as the potential risk to important specimens, the policy on loans must continue to be a cautious one.

Work has continued on the re-arrangement of certain exhibitions in the Museum, and the cleaning and refurbishing of others. The ground floor of the Old Power House at Osney Mead has been partly cleared and selected items from the reserve collections, not liable to damage by changes in temperature and humidity, will be transferred there.

The Conservation staff have continued their programme of checking exhibition and storage conditions, and cleaning, treating, and repairing specimens. The agency contract with the Area Museums Service has remained in force and has worked smoothly, though the volume of work for other museums has declined. Valuable help was given by a trainee paid for by the Area Museums Service for six months, and by other trainee students and volunteers. Special acknowledgement is due to the parties of volunteers from the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies who have come regularly to clean selected specimens.

The method of delivering gas to the fumigation chamber proved unsatisfactory and potentially dangerous. Modifications suggested by Rentokil Ltd. have been put in hand, and at the same time a new store for flammable chemicals is being built.

The Conservation Laboratory arranged a one-day meeting, in conjunction with the United Kingdom Group of the International Institute for Conservation, for conservators dealing with ethnographical material. This was attended by twenty people. Students from the Textile Conservation Centre at Hampton Court visited the Laboratory, and a number of visitors from British and overseas institutions were received. Conservation staff visited other museums and conservation laboratories on a number of occasions and the conservation technician (Miss Walker) attended a one-week course at the Institute of Science and Technology, University of Manchester.

Mrs. C. Bennetts, Conservator, lectured on behalf of the Area Museums Service and the Institute of Archaeology, University of London.

Apart from temporary helpers and volunteers the Conservation section consists of a qualified Conservator provided under the Area Museums Service contract, who can spend only a proportion of her time on Pitt Rivers Museum material; one technician; and a part-time assistant. For the care of what must be the second largest ethnographical collection in the United Kingdom (not to mention the archaeological material) this complement is appallingly inadequate. Moreover, only during the last four and a half years has the museum had a conservation section at all: the arrears of nearly a century have to be dealt with. That the collections are not in a worse state is probably due to the fact that they have never been freely accessible to students, but their condition gives cause for serious concern, for much of the continuing deterioration is irreversible. More modern storage fittings and methods introduced during the last few years have reduced further damage, but such improvements, and routine sorting and classification, are gravely impeded by lack of space. The staff at all levels are dedicated to the Museum and its traditions. The technicians, particularly, have shown a range of skills, an adaptability, and a generous co-operation without which the museum could hardly function.

New Museum
Work on the new buildings at the 60 Banbury Road site began in October. By the end of the year under review construction had reached a stage when it was possible to gauge the final effect. The contractors were then three weeks behind schedule, a satisfactory situation considering the difficulties created by the winter weather.

Discussions were continued about the general form of the new exhibitions to be mounted and about the requirements for exhibition cases and furniture; matters which had been the subject of consideration during the previous year. Meetings were held with members of the Surveyor’s Department about the design of exhibition cases.

The Museum welcomed a number of distinguished visitors from the United Kingdom and overseas, as far as circumstances allowed gave access to the collections to them and to students and research workers of all degrees, and answered queries by members of the public. Visitors to the public exhibitions totalled 29,604, including organized visits from 238 schools and societies. Because of staff problems the public can be admitted only between 2 and 4 p.m. On weekdays, but organized parties are admitted between 10 a.m. and 12 noon by appointment.

The Donald Baden-Powell Quaternary Research Centre
The Centre, under the honorary Directorship of Dr. D.A. Roe, was active during the year. About 80 academics visitors were received, and students in the Department have made intensive use of its facilities.

Swan Fund
As a result of wider advertisement the number of applications to the Fund has continued to increase, and the standard of the research projects for which support was requested was in general high. The resources of the Fund are now stretched to the point where it has not been possible to respond fully to number of worthy applications.

Staff Activities
Apart from teaching and administrative activities associated with their posts, members of the Departmental staff have undertaken external commitments as follows:
Dr. A.J. Butt Colson (University Lecturer in Ethnology) was granted sabbatical leave during Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, with a S.S.R.C. Grant for her research project “The shaman system and its prophetic extensions among the Pemon of Venezuela’.
Mr. B.A.L. Cranstone (Curator) served as a member of Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute and of its Library Committee, and of the Editorial Board of Man. He lectured to the Cambridge University Archaeological Field Club, and at the Juan March Foundation in Madrid. He also acted as external examiner in Material Culture at University College, London, and as a tutor for the Diploma of the Museums Association.
Mr. R.R. Inskeep (Assistant Curator) continued as Acting Curator until September 1976. He served as a member of the Executive Committee and of the Council of the Society of Antiquaries of London, of the Council of the Prehistoric Society, of the Editorial Committee of World Archaeology, and as the University representative on the Executive Committee of the Area Museums Service for South East England. He lectured in Birmingham and Exeter, and acted as external examiner for the University of London Diploma in Material Culture.
Dr. D.A. Roe (University Lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology) has continued as a member of the Department of the Environment’s Archaeological Area Advisory Committees for South Midlands and for south-east England. He attended the ninth U.I.S.P.P. Congress at Nice and gave papers to two of its colloques. He also directed day schools on early prehistoric stone implements at Oxford and at Canterbury, and lectured at an extra-mural week-end school at Exeter.

Staff Publications
COLSON, A.B. 1976. ‘Binary oppositions and the treatment of sickness among the Akawaio’ in Social Anthropology and Medicine,, ed. J.B. Loudon, A.S.A. 13 (academic Press).

------- 1977. ‘The Akawaio shaman’ in Carib-speaking Indians: Culture, Society and Language, ed. Ellen B. Basso (University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona).

CRANSTONE, B.A.L. 1977. Arte de Nueva Guinea y Papúa (Fundación Juan March, Madrid).

INSKEEP, R.R. 1976. ‘The problem of Bantu origins’ in Problems in Economic and Social Archaeology, ed. G. De G. Sieveking, I.H. Longworth, and K. E. Wilson (Duckworth).

ROE, D.A. 1976(a). ‘Typology and the trouble with hand-axes’ in Problems in Economic and Social Archaeology, ed. G. De G. Sieveking, I.H. Longworth, and K. E. Wilson (Duckworth).

----- 1976(b). ‘The evolution of the Archaulean in Britain.’ Ninth U.I.S.P.P. Congress, Nice, France: Colloque x, Prétirage.

----- 1976(c). ‘The earliest industries in Britain.’ Ninth U.I.S.P.P. Congress, Nice, France: Colloque viii, Prétirage.

----- And HOLDEN, E.W. 1976(d). ‘Flint artefacts from Seaford.’ Sussex Archaeological Collection 114.

210 books and 408 periodical parts were accessioned during the year. 108 books and periodicals were sent for binding. 175 new readers were registered and 2,062 issues were recorded. Most of these figures show an increase over the previous year.
A grant of £31 from the Inter-faculty Committee for Latin American Studies for the purchase of books is gratefully acknowledged.
Mr. T.K. Penniman, who had been a generous benefactor to the library during his lifetime, bequeathed about a hundred books.
Mr James Craig has continued the cataloguing of the photographic collections. To him and to Mr. Stephen Bach, who has continued to catalogue the archival material, we are grateful for valuable voluntary assistance.
Work has continued on accessioning the large collection of offprints bequeathed by Miss Blackwood.
Gifts of books, pamphlets, or offprints from the following are gratefully acknowledged: Dr. A.J. Colson, Mr. B.A.L. Cranstone, Mr. B.E.B. Fagg, Dr. C.J.M.R. Gullick, Mrs. Kuhn, Mr. A.M.T. Moore, Mrs. Muller, Dr. K.P. Oakley, Mr. T.K. Penniman. Special mention should be made of the gift from Dr. Derek Roe of volumes 1-5 of Quaternary Research.

Student Numbers

All the Diploma candidates were successful. One D.Phil in Prehistoric Archaeology, one B.Phil. In Prehistoric Archaeology, and one B.Litt. In Ethnology were awarded during the year.

The following gifts are gratefully acknowledged: Mr. Lewis Bailey: a dagger from southern Arabia Miss B.K. Barnardiston: a collection of textiles from the Toda of South India Mr. A.E. Best: a club from the Solomon Islands Mrs. E.M. Chilver: a lime spatula from Collingwood Bay, Papua New Guinea, and photographs from the Cameroons Mrs. G. Davies: a zither, probably from the Sudan Miss M. C.C. de Govia: a collection of items given in lieu of small change, from Italy Miss J. Harden: a collection of Portuguese pottery, Indonesian textiles, and other items Miss Eva Hooykass: a shadow puppet, a painted cloth, and a brass vessel from Bali Sir John Nicholl, K.C.M.G.: An old brass vessel from Brunei Mrs. P.R.P. Percival: a wooden fish taken from a Chinese junk.
Mrs. M.S. Somerville (in accordance with the wishes of her late sister, Miss Violet Marchaise Orr): a Chinese doll The Directors of Madame Tussaud’s: about twenty items of costume from China, India, and central Asia Mr. J.O. Urmson: an obsidian blade from Guatemala Mr. John Wallace (Executor for the late Miss. E.J. Begg, F.S.A.): three charms from central France Transferred by the Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum (from the estate of the late Mrs. I.M.M. Parmiter): two Inca pots Transferred by Newarke Houses Museum, Leicester: two quivers with arrows from Africa.

From Mr. P. Megoran: a Luango carved tusk. From Mrs. W. Smith: a sheet of Fijian barkcloth.


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