Who has the power to choose which stories we remember and tell? Where can we find acts of courage, conflict or censorship in our collections? What can museum collections reveal about the histories of empire? What does change look like today?

Throughout 2022-24 we’re hosting a programme of events, displays, workshops, and community-led discussions confronting Cambridge’s colonial story. Join the conversation.

What's on?

Preset Block
Kettle's Yard, Museum of Cambridge
04/02/2023
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Free

Join us for a walk and talk to explore our Museums and their complex, challenging and contradictory stories of power.

 

    Museum of Zoology
    22/02/2023
    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Free

    Join us for a talk by Sujit Sivasundaram as he explores human relations with pangolins, colonial histories, Indigenous perspectives and the origins of covid-19.

    Museum of Zoology
    08/02/2023
    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Free

    Join us online for a talk on the heroes behind our collections 


    Making change

    Collections for everyone

    The University of Cambridge Museums are committed to ensuring that all our work, and the way we do it, is as inclusive as possible. As University museums and collections, being true to our mission means questioning and seeking to expand our knowledge about our collections, adding new perspectives and layers of understanding.

    Find out more



    Dodo skeleton

    Cambridge responds to legacies of enslavement inquiry

    Read about the University's findings on historical links to the slave trade. This two-year inquiry explored the University archives and a wide range of records elsewhere to uncover how the institution may have gained from slavery and the exploitation of labour, through financial and other bequests to departments, libraries and museums. 

     


    A section of a globe

    Exploring the legacies of empire and enslavement

    The University of Cambridge Museums is embarking on a shared line of inquiry exploring the legacies of empire and enslavement. The project will include new and ongoing research into the legacies of empire and enslavement present within our collections, and important developments in how we approach sharing the material we find with our wider audiences.


    Explore further

    A Benin Bronze

    Cambridge supports Nigeria’s claim for return of Benin artefacts from University collections

    The University of Cambridge is supporting a claim for the return to Nigeria of 116 objects currently held in the University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) collections that were taken by British armed forces during the sacking of Benin City in 1897.

    Find out more

    Benin Bronze Cockerel

    Jesus College returns Benin Bronze in world first

    Jesus College became the first institution in the world to return a Benin Bronze, presenting it to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM). Delegates from Nigeria and Benin took part in a ceremony to complete the handover process and celebrate the rightful return of the Bronze.

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    [Re:]Entanglements: Colonial collections in decolonial times

    Discover [Re:]Entanglements - a project that re-engaged with a remarkable ethnographic archive – including objects, photographs, sound recordings, botanical specimens, published work and fieldnotes – assembled by the colonial anthropologist, N. W. Thomas, in Southern Nigeria and Sierra Leone between 1909 and 1915

    Find out more

    We are committed to our responsibility to address hurtful legacies in the collections we care for and the way we talk about them. We welcome feedback on how to talk about these works; please visit our contact page to email us with your thoughts, suggestions, and comments.