The committee, having received the following Report from the Curator, presents it as its Report to Congregation.

The Committee met three times during the year, once in each term. The principal topics for discussion were problems preventing the opening of the new museum building, and health and safety matters. Mr. M.D. McLeod accepted co-optation to the Committee.

Museum Matters
Fire-escape doors and external stairs from the two galleries of the Museum were installed during the year. A method of escape from the upper floors of the Balfour Library has not yet been agreed. New staff lavatories were completed, and the old external lavatory was converted for use as a soldering shop, thus separating naked flames from woodworking.

The Committee has been greatly concerned that nearly three years after the completion of the new building and the installation of exhibition cases, wholly unsatisfactory atmospheric conditions still make it impossible to introduce specimens. During the year relative humidity within the building has ranged from 94 per cent to about 40 per cent, and it has become clear that the problems arise from the structure of the building, not from the drying-out of the fabric. The Committee’s request for the appointment of a Consultant had not, at the end of the year, been approved. The General Board has provided for basic heating costs to be met, thus making possible the mounting of exhibitions when the other problems have been overcome.

The heating system on the upper floor of the storage space at the Old Power House has been converted from night storage to gas hot water, which provides a more controllable environment and is more economical.

Work has continued on the exhibitions at the old museum building, especially the mounting of the arms and armour display in the upper gallery, and on the sorting and re-arrangement of the reserve collections there and at the Old Power House. With the assistance of volunteers, notably Mr. Stephen Bach and Mr Stephen Terry, progress has continued with the sorting of the archaeological collections at 60 Banbury road. A grant for palaeolith boxes was received from the Area Museum Service for South Eastern England. Dr. La Rue, with the assistance of technicians, has completed the re-organization of the reserve musical instrument collections.

Much of the time of the conservation section (which consists of one qualified technician and a part-time assistant) has been taken up by treatment of specimens formerly stored in unsuitable conditions at the Examination Schools and others needing urgent attention, by recording atmospheric conditions and tending instruments, and other routine matters, with the result that little progress has been made with the long-term programme for conservation of displayed material and, over all, ground has been lost rather than gained. The final total of specimens from the Examination Schools which had deteriorated to the point where destruction was the only course was 121. None was of first-class importance, but this necessity is greatly deplored.

After extensive work had been carried out on the fumigation chamber, designed to minimize the loss of gas and to make conditions safer for the operators, a trial fumigation was carried out. This was successful, but new problems arose concerning the incomplete evacuation of the gas during the exhausting period. The chamber was therefore still not available for use by the end of the year.

Mrs Birgitte Speake, the conservation assistant, has widened her experience by being attached for one day a week to the Horniman Museum, with the aid of a grant from the Crafts Council. We are grateful to Miss. S. Turner for valuable voluntary help in the conservation laboratory during the year, and (once again) to the members of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies for their assistance.
The street piano and its carriage were restored with the aid of a grant from the Area Museum Service.
The long-term programme of retrospective numbering and photographing of specimens acquired before 1939 continues. Accessioning of recent acquisitions is nearly up to date.
The Vice-Chairman of the General Board made a visit of inspection to the museum, including the Old Power House, which was warmly appreciated.
Visitors to the public exhibition totalled 33,870, including 8.284 who came in organized parties by arrangement in the mornings.
A Viking sword, already on loan to the Ashmolean Museum, was lent to the National Museum, Copenhagen, for the exhibition ‘The Vikings in England’. A request from the Government of Sri Lanka for the unconditional return of a specimen was declined. The Curator attended a meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office called to co-ordinate policy in such cases. A proposal from the Fiji Museum for an exchange of specimens was accepted in principle.
The Committee and the Curator record their thanks to the staff for their hard work and enthusiasm in continuing difficult and discouraging circumstances.

The Balfour Library
The continuation of reclassification to Bliss Bibliographic Classification, 2nd ed., has been frustrated by further delay in publication of the main Anthropology class, which however is expected soon. Work has continued on improvement of the photographic archive storage, and associated research has brought about an expansion of the catalogue. Programmes for copying material on unstable nitrate film and the systematic storage of glass plates have been initiated. A notice of this has been published in the Oxfordshire Museums Group Newsletter, No. 3, June 1981 (E.J.M, Edwards, ‘Care and storage of photographs in the Pitt Rivers Museum collection’). Two important oil paintings of Maori subjects by G. Lindauer have been restored, with the help of a grant from the Area Museums Service.
The entrance and catalogue area of the library has been rearranged to improve security and invigilation, and a microfiche reader has been obtained. The library was please to be visited by a party from the Oxford Librarians’ Club.
The receipt of a grant of £145 from the Inter-faculty Committee for Latin American Studies is gratefully acknowledged, as are two notable gifts: a collection of books and pamphlets on art, textiles and music from the late Mrs C. Vulliamy, and one of books, pamphlets, and journals on folk music from the Faculty of Music Library. These are not yet catalogued. We are grateful also to the following for gifts to the library: Ashmolean Museum, Dr. A. Barnard, Mrs. E.M. Chilver, Mr. J.D. Collinson, Dr. A.J. Colson, Mr. B.A.L. Cranstone, Mr. J. Dumont, Mr. R. Edwards, Mrs. E. Ettlinger, Dr. R. Foley, Institute of Agricultural Economics, Dr. S. Jones, Mrs. Kuhn, Mrs. K. Mathews, Dr. J. Montague, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the late Dr. K.P. Oakley, Professor J. Parkington, the executors of the late Professor A.E. Pennington, Powell-Cotton Museum, Mr.B.P. Russell, Ms. N. Sine, Dr. M.G. Spencer, and Mr. J.C. Wright.
During the year 319 books, 191 pamphlets and sheets, and 390 periodicals parts were accessioned. A Further four titles are being received by subscription and two by exchange. The subscription to one title has been cancelled and one received by exchange has ceased publication. The total of new readers was 113, and 1,946 loans were recorded. The year has over-all been one of increased growth.
Miss M. Cobbold obtained the Library Assistant’s Certificate of the City and Guilds of London Institute with credit.

Sales and exchanges of Occasional Papers and Monographs amounted to 513; of other publications to 526; and of postcards to 10,820. World on a Glass Plate, by Elizabeth Edwards and Lynne Williamson, a selection of early anthropological photographs from the Museum’s notable collection with a commentary, was published during the year.

Dr. A.J. Colson, University Lecturer in Ethnology, held a S.S.R.C. Personal Research Grant for the academic year, during which time her post was filled by Dr. S.J.Ott.
Mr. R.R. Inskeep, Assistant Curator, became Executive Editor of World Archaeology, and attended conferences in Haifa, Mons, and Tervuren as an invited speaker.
Dr. Schuyler Jones was invited to read a paper to a special symposium on Afghanistan in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Hélène La Rue was employed during the year, with the aid of a grant from the General Board, as Assistant Curator in charge of musicology.
The following publications by members of the staff appeared during the year:
Colson, A.J. (with A.J. Williams). 1981. ‘A study of affliction and illness, health and healing in the Venezuelan religious cult of Maria Lionza’, S.S.R.C. Report on Project HR 5187.
Inskeep, R.R. 1980. Commentary on ‘Time and place: some observations on spatial and temporal patterning in the Later Stone Age sequence in southern Africa’ by J.E. Parkington, South Africa Archaeological Bulletin 36.
Roe, D.A. 1981. The Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Periods in Britain. London (Routledge and Kegan Paul).
----    ‘Amateurs and archaeologist: some early contributions to British Palaeolithic studies’ in Antiquity and Man: Essays in Honour of Glyn Daniel, ed. J.D. Evans, B. Cunliffe, and     C. Renfrew. London (Thames and Hudson).
----    ‘Paléolithique inférieur et moyen de Grande Bretagne’ in Notae Prehistoricae (Tervuren).
Jones. S. 1981. ‘Institutionalized inequalities in Nuristan’ in Social Inequality: Comparative     and Developmental Approaches, ed. G.D. Berreman. Academic Press.    
Dr. Colson edited Etnoligía Antigua, vol. 1, Monografia 26, Fundación la Salle de Ciancias Naturales, Caracas.

Student Numbers

Three D.Phil candidates withdrew, one lapsed in status. One M.Phil. In Prehistoric Archaeology transferred to D. Phil status and one withdrew.

A small coffee room for students was opened at the old museum (students at the Quaternary Research Centre being already well provided for).

Swan Fund
As previously, it was not usually possible to provide total funding for projects, however valuable and appropriate, but grants were made in four cases.

The Donald Baden-Powell Quarternary Research Centre
The number of research students increased by two, and there were 126 visitors during the year. Facilities were improved with the help of a grant from the Equipment Committee.

Mr. J.R. Blackie: a clay headdress from the Jie of northern Uganda. Mr. C. Blakeman: a shale carving from the North-west Coast of America. Mr. A.E. Bissell: a stone-bladed adze from Fiji. Sir Richard Doll: thirteen stone implements from Tasmania. Revd. A.T.S. Fisher: twelve items from Uganda, collected before 1910. Mrs. M.B. Foote: a palm-leaf book, said to be a seventeenth-century treatise on snake-bite, from Sri Lanka. Brig. F.F.L. Goadby: two carved wood memorial figures from the Kalash Kafir, a whip, a robe, a hat, and the skin of a monal pheasant mounted as an ornament, all from Chitral. Dr. H.G. Kuhn: a sword with a leather sheath from Ghana. Dr. H. La Rue: two ‘loaves’ of St. Antony’s bread (votive offerings) from Quebec; and a hot-cross bun from London, made before noon on good Friday, believed to cure colds. Museum of the History of Science (transferred): a wood paddle-club from Tonga. Dr. K.P. Oakley: an ‘evil-eye’ charm from northern Nigeria, a walking stick from South Africa, and a bark box from the Bemba of Zambia. Mrs. A.A. De Pina-Cabral: a collection of about sixty wax votive offerings from Portugal. Dr. D.A. Road and Miss M.D. Roe: a gramophone, a collection of records, and a pianola. Mrs. L. Rogers: a pair of felt and leather boots from Tibet. Dr. B. Rose: four was ex botos from Diest, Belgium. Mrs. D. Stewart and Mrs. O’Reilly: a bead belt and a leather bag decorated with beadwork, from the Plains Indians of the northern United States. Miss. Lydia Vulliamy: a bark painting from northern Australia, a painting on paper from Mexico, and a text on parchment from Ethiopia. Dr. E. Wenzel: a belt decorated with silver and a silver ring from the Sudan; and three pottery figures and a reed and feather apron from Brazil. Sir Edgar Williams: four pieces of ornamented silver from East Africa. Mrs. M. Williams: a box of wax matched made in London in the 1920s.
A gift of U.S. $ 125 from Ms. N. Sine is also gratefully acknowledged.

From Messrs. Christie, Manson & Woods: a Mochica Pottery trumpet from Peru, an ancestral figure from Irian Jaya (New Guinea), and three ancestral figures from Nias, Indonesia. From Mr. B.E.A. Evans: six items from various tribes and localities of Sarawak. From Mr. B.E.B. Fagg: a large blue-and-white resist-dyed cloth from the Benue Valley, Nigeria. From Mr. J. Gillow: seventeen items of clothing and other textiles from various tribes and castes of northern India and Pakistan. From Mr. J. Graham: an elaborately decorated woman’s dress from the nomads of east Afghanistan. From Mr. D. Parkin: a wood carving of a District Officer seated at his desk, from the Yoruba of Nigeria. From Mrs. D.C. Starzecka: a collection of about fifty pieces from the Wosera of the East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea.

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