Object Collections

Object Collections
.The Museum holds archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world. It was founded in 1884 when General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University.

The founding gift contained more than 18,000 objects but there are now around 300,000. Many were donated by early anthropologists, colonial administrators and explorers, but the Museum has continued to collect through donations, bequests, special purchases and through its staff and students in the course of their fieldwork.

The Museum hosts around 100 research visits by those wishing to consult its object collections in more detail, and answers many more enquiries by correspondence.

Image ordering / licensing

Objects Catalogue

Enquiries:  objects.colls@prm.ox.ac.uk



The Collections Team manage a diverse range of activities to ensure the research and long-term care of objects in the Pitt Rivers Museum collections. Most of our work takes place behind the scenes.  To gain an insight into what we do, visit the object collections blog to read the latest post or explore the blog archive to discover even more.

Visit to South Africa the Art of a Nation at the British Museum

On Thursday 8th December, I visited the exhibition South Africa the Art of a Nation at the British Museum with members of the Museum Ethnographers Group.... Read more...

Percy Manning: the man who collected Oxfordshire

Percy Manning was an antiquarian and folklorist, who died one... Read more...

Ringing the Changes

Bells stored in the Music store, as well as bells from Sharpe the PRM also have bell ringing holdings from other prominent  campanologists... Read more...

Loan to the exhibition ‘The Global City: Lisbon in the Renaissance’ Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon

Facade of the Museum Nacional de Arte Antiga © Pitt Rivers MuseumOn the 15th of February I travelled to Lisbon with two objects, a Congo... Read more...