Charles Seligman Beatrice Blackwood PRM Museum John Hutton Henry Balfour Edward Tylor Augustus Fox
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The Pitt Rivers Museum

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  1. Pitt Rivers inherited large estate of Rushmore and starts to develop a second collection and Farnham museum ?
  2. Pitt Rivers offered first collection to South Kensington Museum, offer was refused
  3. Tylor gave two public lectures on anthropology at University of Oxford
  4. Linacre professor of Human Anatomy, then Henry Nottidge Moseley, decreed responsible for anatomical and ethnographic specimens belonging to University
  5. In May University accepted offer of Pitt Rivers' collection
  6. Tylor started work at OUMNH as Keeper, March
  7. Tylor appointed first Reader in Anthropology, December with tenure from 1 January 1884 ?
  8. Tylor moved into Museum House in September, as Keeper of OUMNH ?
  9. Terms of acceptance of donation from Pitt Rivers' drawn up by a Committee of members of University Convocation ?
  10. Accepted foundation date for Pitt Rivers Museum
  11. Museum of the Indian Institute established at the University ?
  12. First anthropological lecture series given at Oxford by Tylor in OUMNH, January
  13. Moseley and Tylor visited North America for the BAAS meeting, and travelled to SW USA afterwards, August-September
  14. 20 May 1884. Deed of gift signed by Pitt Rivers, donating Pitt Rivers Collection to the University of Oxford
  15. Arthur Evans became Keeper of Ashmolean Museum
  16. J.T. Long appointed as Pitt Rivers Museum's first assistant
  17. Plans for Pitt Rivers Museum building completed November
  18. Work begun on moving founding collection from South Kensington Museum to Oxford
  19. Building work begun on extension of OUMNH for Pitt Rivers collection
  20. Artefacts transferred to Oxford from South Kensington Museum, work carried out by Walter Baldwin Spencer and Henry Balfour and supervised by H.N. Moseley and E.B. Tylor ?
  21. Balfour appointed to work on cataloguing and displaying ethnology collections in Oxford, October
  22. Pitt Rivers awarded DCL by Oxford University ?
  23. Transfer of ethnographic and some archaeological artefacts from Ashmolean Museum to PRM ?
  24. Transfer of ethnographic and some archaeological artefacts from other departments of OUMNH to PRM ?
  25. First date upon which displays work at PRM begun
  26. Ground floor [known as the Court] of the PRM opened for first time to general public and University staff and student.
  27. Moseley unwell and Balfour prepared report on display progress, no details about which displays worked on
  28. First annual report for PRM prepared and published as part of OUMNH annual report ?
  29. Because of Moseley's ongoing illness, responsibility for PRM carried by Balfour
  30. Balfour in annual report calculated that about 1,500 objects had been catalogued ?
  31. Balfour absent for two months on trip to Lapland, August-September ?
  32. Tylor broached idea of threepenny guide to Pitt Rivers' collections in letter to Pitt Rivers
  33. Displays worked on during the year: Ornamental and decorative art and Deformation of body, displays in Upper Gallery [prehistoric and 'savage and other' weapons] ?
  34. Upper Gallery of the Museum opened to the public.
  35. Pitt Rivers visited Oxford in October [according to Chapman, 1981:518]
  36. Balfour appointed to post of sub-curator of PRM
  37. Annual Report mentions a 'Museum Maintenance of Collections' Fund used to purchase additional artefacts [this is not mentioned subsequently]
  38. Balfour published a paper on , 'On the Structure and Affinities of the Composite Bow', JRAI, vol. 19, which sparked a disagreement with Pitt Rivers (see 1890) ?
  39. Beatrice Mary Blackwood born, 3 May
  40. Displays worked on during the year: none recorded but work in Lower Gallery carried out
  41. PR and Balfour argued about composite bow publication ?
  42. Balfour appointed Curator of PRM until 1891, with same status as Professors teaching in OUMNH
  43. Lower Gallery remained closed because it was being used as workspace to work on displays elsewhere in Museum
  44. Balfour proposed handbook on collections for visitors in annual report
  45. Displays worked on during the year: Musical instruments, Upper Gallery and Court displays
  46. 30 April, Pitt Rivers gives a lecture on "The Original Collection of the Pitt-Rivers Museum; the Principles of Arrangement and History", taken by some as being the opening of the Museum
  47. Work continues on the displays in the Lower Gallery, the last area of the Museum to be opened to the general public.
  48. Balfour mentioned handbook for visitors on collections in annual report [it is not mentioned after this year, and is never produced]
  49. Building work began on providing new office for Curator and work room for unpacking and arranging displays
  50. Displays worked on during the year: Musical instruments, weaving, barkcloth, masks, boat models and fire-making
  51. Moseley died November
  52. Balfour reappointed Curator until 1898
  53. New Curator's office, workshops and storerooms completed on south west side of Museum
  54. Department of Geology got new extension at side of PRM, eventually to become Balfour Library from 1948-2004
  55. Displays worked on during the year: Musical instruments, food and water vessels, substitutes for pottery
  56. All display spaces within Museum [Court, Lower Gallery and Upper Gallery] opened for first time
  57. Balfour gave first official series of lectures at the Museum
  58. Arthur Thomson, lecturer in Human Anatomy, gave first official lectures on physical anthropology
  59. Displays worked on during the year: Stone implements, Pottery, Writing, Magic/ charms, Lighting, Smoking / narcotics, Death, Burmese manuscripts,
  60. Tylor had disputes in OUMNH ?
  61. Ashmolean Museum archaeological collections transferred from Broad Street to Beaumont Street ?
  62. Glazed roof renewed 1894-5
  63. Tylor appointed first Oxford Professor of Anthropology [personal position]
  64. Glazed roof renewed 1894-5
  65. William Beale, Museum attendant, died
  66. Henry John Walters appointed to museum staff ?
  67. Old printed labels replaced by painted ones ?
  68. Displays worked on during the years 1894-1895: Lighting, Smoking / narcotics, Currency, Animal form in art, Human figures in art, String / netting
  69. Displays worked on during the year: Stone implements, Pottery, Palaeolithic implements, Archery, blow-guns, Feather ornaments, Ex-voto figures, Cook collection
  70. PRM reverted to labels printed in OUMNH ?
  71. Displays worked on during the year: Musical instruments, food and water vessels, stone implements, palaeolithic implements, archery, blowguns, feather ornaments, ex-voto figures, Cook collection
  72. Tylor reappointed Reader for further 5 years
  73. Tylor started process of acquiring a totem pole from Masset, British Columbia, Canada
  74. Balfour reappointed Curator until 1905
  75. Balfour wrote to friend Baldwin Spencer that he is trying to build up the Museum's photographic collections
  76. J.T. Long, museum assistant since Museum opened, resigned to work in the Anatomical Department
  77. Balfour ill, and had to delay submitting Annual Report for 1898 ?
  78. Pitt Rivers was asked for, and sent, photograph of himself for display in the Museum
  79. Harold St George Gray began work as Balfour's chief museum assistant. He had previously worked as Pitt Rivers' assistant
  80. New wall- and other exhibition cases installed
  81. Displays worked on during 1898-1899: Deformation of body, Musical instruments, archery, blowguns, feather ornaments, adzes, shell ornaments
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The financial support of this project by the ESRC is gratefully acknowledged.