Reimagining Collecting & Collections using decolonial practice in Natural History Museums

Invitation to the evening lecture of the international workshop „Decolonising academic disciplines and collections“


07. Juni 2023 19:00 – 07. Juni 2023 20:30

Historischer Rathaussaal, Markt 1, 35037 Marburg

While decolonisation has been the topic of much discussion in museums over recent years, what does it mean in the context of natural history? Using both UK-based and international case studies, the practice of decolonising natural science collections will be examined and related knowledge that requires tracing how specimens and objects were collected, acquired and moved worldwide. Through examples, acknowledgement will be given to the collaboration of indigenous and enslaved communities in the collecting process and their
contribution to global scientific knowledge. These narratives are commonly absent from the interpretation of natural history collections particularly in relation to colonial histories, which will be explored. The misrepresentation of the past is problematic because it alienates indigenous and black audiences. Acknowledging difficult pasts is an important first step in creating more inclusive, representative and holistic interpretations across the natural history arena.


Miranda Lowe (Principal curator at the Natural History Museum London)