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The Pitt Rivers Museum is the archaeological and anthropological museum of the University of Oxford in England.  The collection includes some 500,000 objects, photographs and manuscripts from all over the world, and from all periods of human existence.

The museum was founded in 1884, when General Pitt-Rivers gave his collection to the University.  Pitt-Rivers began life as Augustus Henry Lane Fox and inherited the name Pitt-Rivers, as well as a substantial estate, from an uncle in 1880.  In 1882 Pitt-Rivers was appointed the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments. He had collected objects – initially varieties of weapons – whilst on service overseas with the army.  Most objects in his collection, however, were acquired from dealers, auction houses and people he knew. The collection was given to the University on condition that a museum was built to house it and a lecturer appointed to teach about it and look after it.  The Museum first opened to visitors in 1887.  In most ethnographic and archaeological museums, the objects are arranged according to geographical or cultural areas. At the Pitt Rivers Museum, objects are not arranged by geographical or cultural taxonomy, but by type: musical instruments, weapons, masks, textiles, jewellery and tools are all displayed to illustrate diversity in solving common problems in different times and by different peoples.

Location/Address: South Parks Road
County: Oxfordshire
Post Code: OX1 3PP
Main Historic Period: All
Useful Website Address: Pitt Rivers Museum website
Tip/Nearby: Oxford City centre and colleges
Primary Management: Educational establishment
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