You are in site section: Exhibitions

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects in the British Museum

Encounters

Caution: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects in the British Museum

The British Museum.
The British Museum. Photo: Ian Coates.

The British Museum's collection of nearly 6000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects is one of the most important outside of Australia. It includes material collected during Lieutenant James Cook's visit to Botany Bay in 1770.

It also includes an extensive range of objects, photographs, artworks, and correspondence detailing interactions between British collectors and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia.

The British Museum's collection of more than 3,500,000 objects can be searched on the British Museum website.

Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation

The British Museum’s exhibition, Indigenous Australia – Enduring Civilisation, was on show at the British Museum from 23 April to 2 August 2015.

Drawing on objects from the British Museum’s collection, accompanied by important loans from British and Australian collections including that of the National Museum of Australia, the exhibition presented Indigenous Australia as a living culture, with a continuous history dating back more than 60,000 years.

Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation was launched by the exhibition’s patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.

Present at the launch was a delegation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including members of the Museum’s Indigenous Reference Group (IRG). Also in attendance were Australia's High Commissioner to the UK, the Hon Alexander Downer AC, the Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, and the Director of the National Museum of Australia, Dr Mat Trinca.

More about Indigenous Australia – Enduring Civilisation on the British Museum website  

The following photos from the launch were taken by Benedict Johnson: