September 2013

May 2013

April 2013

February 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

August 2011

July 2011

Göttingen Visit
25- 27 July 2011

Arawa visitors in Cambridge

June 2011

Cook collections: research breakthrough at the British Museum

Cook First Voyage collections: research visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum

Ngai Tamanuhiri in Cambridge

September 2010

Sainsbury Research Unit collaboration

Funding excellence

August 2010

Pacific Arts Association Xth International Symposium

DiSCO Workshop

July 2010

Research seminar: Digital Subjects, Cultural Objects

June 2010

Introductory talk for TATAU: Symmetry, Harmony and Beauty

MAA hosts Semisi Fetokai Potauaine

EXHIBITION – Tatau: Samoan Tattooing / Global Culture

January 2010

Visit to Uawa


Pennsylvania University Museum for Archaeology and Anthropology
Billie Lythberg, April 2013

In April, Research Associate Dr Billie Lythberg was hosted by the Keeper for Oceania, Adria Katz, at the Pennsylvania University Museum for Archaeology and Anthropology. Billie had arranged to view the Alexander Shaw barkcloth book in their collection, written about by Henry Usher Hall for the Museum Journal in 1921, and another volume about which nothing was known. The latter was called simply ‘Book of native cloth from bark of different trees’.

As its pages were turned and photographed Billie discerned that despite its lacking Shaw’s printed catalogue and introductory essay, the compendium contains samples drawn entirely from Shaw’s sample set. She therefore proposes that it was assembled at the same time and location as Shaw’s published edition, possibly by an opportunistic assistant bookbinder wishing to keep a copy for himself; she continues to work with Adria and other staff at Penn to investigate this possibility.

In addition, discrepancies became apparent when comparing her own photographs of the museum’s Shaw book with those published in Hall’s paper. Billie has determined that the Shaw volume now in their collection is not the same one described and depicted by Hall. Collaborative research is now underway, involving the museum’s curators, archivists and librarians, to determine how and when the museum’s original volume left the collection, and how and when the other two arrived.

Results will be published in a forthcoming edition of the museum’s journal, Expedition. If you have any information to offer please email Billie.

Photo by Billie Lythberg, courtesy of Pennsylvania University Museum for Archaeology and Anthropology