The Grounds for Museological Experiments: Developing the Colonial Museum Project in British Nigeria | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-5836
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5844



In 1943 Kenneth C. Murray conducted a survey of antiquities in British Nigeria, leading to the founding of the Department of Antiquities, which wrote antiquities legislation, regulated archaeological excavations, and established all of the museums in the country. Looking to British institutions, such as the British and the Pitt Rivers Museums, Nigeria’s institutions and display practices reveal the way in which the colonial government intended to use the museum to unite a diverse population and create the modern colonial African subject. This article examines the processes by which European museum standards were translated to colonial-era African museums and how early Nigerian museums were both an extension of and departure from the way British museums were used for social and political purposes.


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