Look inside

The Pitt Rivers Museum

A World Within

Michael O'Hanlon

    ISBN: 978 1 85759 911 4

    Size: 248 x 200 mm / 7.9 x 9.8 in.

    Binding: paperback

    Pages: 168

    In association with:

    Date published: November, 2014

    UK £16.95 /US $29.95


  • Fascinating account of the creation of a very popular museum and the growth of its collections
  • Written by the museum director in an engaging, authoritative style
  • Illustrated throughout with objects from the collections and historical photographs


‘My favourite museum in the world!’ This is what many visitors say about the Pitt Rivers Museum, with its atmospheric galleries, showing artefacts from all corners of the world, uniquely arranged according to the objects’ different functions. But who was General Pitt-Rivers, who donated the founding collection, and how did the museum come to have so distinctive an appearance? Its displays may look unchanged since Victorian times, but they are actually the outcome of a lively history, curatorial ambitions, university politics and shifts in public taste.

This book provides, in addition, an insight into the collections themselves, the cast of characters who contributed to them and the kind of adventurous collaborations which the museum today undertakes with the communities from which the collections originally came.

Author information

Professor Michael O’Hanlon is Director of Oxford University’s Pitt Rivers Museum