Faye Belsey

Job summary

•    Curate, document, research and provide access to the Museum’s artefact collections

•    Contribute to the forward plans of the ethnography and archaeology collections and collections-based project proposals

•    Cataloguing, digitisation, collections storage, new acquisitions, exhibitions and public engagement, object-based teaching, planning and resource allocation, and collections-based research

•    Research interests include the early history of archaeology and anthropology, the history of collections and collectors, issues of decolonising museum practice, textiles, working with source communities to provide new interpretations for museum collections, museum display, museum databases and cataloguing 


Faye joined the Pitt Rivers Museum in 2008 as Collection Move Manager for the project ‘Taking the Past into the Future', redeveloping the entrance of the Pitt Rivers Museum. Faye managed the removal, assessment, storage and redisplay of over 5,000 objects. 

Since then, Faye has worked in various roles in the ethnography and archaeology section of the Pitt Rivers Museum as Assistant Curator and Deputy Head of Collections. She has participated and contributed to numerous collections research and digitisation projects, including 'Haida Material Culture in British Museums: Generating New Forms of Knowledge', 'Characterising the World: Archaeology Collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum' and 'Small Blessings: Amulets at the Pitt Rivers Museum'.

Faye has curated the following exhibitions at the Pitt Rivers Museum: ‘Made for Trade'; 'Pigeon Whistles: an Orchestra in Flight'; 'Iraqw Skirts: a tradition continued'; and 'Oxfordshire Folklore and Customs: Celebrating the centenary of antiquarian and folklorist Percy Manning', for which she also co-authored a chapter in the book ‘Percy Manning: The Man Who Collected Oxfordshire'

In 2018, Faye organised the annual Museum Ethnographers Group conference held at the Pitt Rivers Museum on the topic ‘Decolonising the Museum in Practice', and gave a paper on a similar theme – 'Privileging Knowledge: Whose right is it?' – at the 2018 International Council of Museums documentation group conference. 

Most recently, Faye has been supporting the work of the department during a major project to move objects from the Museum's off-site store to a new facility in order to improve access, documentation and storage conditions. She has also been writing the Museum’s repatriation policy.

Featured publications

Belsey, F and Ding, M ‘Percy Manning Contextualised: How Manning’s collection of lighting in the Pitt Rivers Museum tells us more about the man, his collection and it’s context’ in Percy Manning: The man who collected Oxfordshire, edited by Michael Heaney.

Belsey, F. ‘Privileging Knowledge, whose right is it?’