Macleay Museum research projects

Dr Tony Gill

The Macleay Museum supports staff with research interests, such as Dr Tony Gill.

The Macleay is also collaborating with a number of institutions on the following ARC funded projects.

Points of focus: historic photographs from the Pacific

Rebecca Conway, 2013 University of Sydney General Staff Travelling Scholarship.

This project is designed to extend and enhance the research, curatorship and potential reach of the exhibition, Points of focus: historic photographs from the Pacific to be staged at the Macleay Museum in 2014. The exhibition will showcase images from the Sydney University Museums Historic Photograph Collection. The grant is awarded for professional development and is being used for research visits to key European universities, museums and institutions selected for their significant collections and research excellence in historic ethnographic photographs from the Pacific. The project will examine holdings similar to those of the Macleay with particular emphasis on images that relate to the colonial history of the Pacific region and its international context, and the history, teaching and practice of anthropology. The project also seeks out curatorial excellence in exhibition development focusing on institutions that are renowned for producing high quality, innovative exhibitions, educational and community outreach programs.

Funding awarded for 3 weeks overseas travel. Exhibition opens late February 2014.

The original field anthropologist: Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay in Oceania, 1871-1883

Led by Drs Chris Ballard, Jude Philp and Elena Govor.
A partnership with ANU.

This project restores the nineteenth century Russian anthropologist Nikolai Miklouh-Maclay to a central position in the histories of anthropology and of the European exploration of Oceania. Interviews with the source communities amongst which he lived will be used to analyse his field drawings and journals, most never previously published in English.
Funding awarded for 3 years, 2011 – 2013.

Cultures of Coast and Sea: maritime environmental, cultural and ethnographic histories of north-east Australia

Led by Professor Iain McCalman with Dr Stephanie Anderson, Dr Jude Philp, Dr Michael Davis, Dr Nigel Erskine, Mr Michael Crayford and Dr Michael Davis (APDI).
A partnership between the University of Sydney, Australian National Maritime Museum, the Queensland Museum and the Silentworld Foundation.

Using new cross-disciplinary approaches and methods, this collaboration between university scholars, museum curators and a philanthropic foundation will study the impact of maritime and marine environmental and cultural change on the peoples and habitats of the Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait from the eighteenth century to the present.
Funding awarded for 4 years, 2011 – 2014.

The Kaoka Speakers Revisited: the Ian Hogbin Collection. Cultural change in language and material culture

Led by Assist. Prof. Elizabeth Bonshek and Deborah Hill with Rebecca Conway, Vanessa Finney, Melanie van Olfen.
A partnership between Canberra University, University of Sydney and the Australian Museum.

This project aims to document the cultural context of the collections for both museums and the Longgu community; to establish a means to distribute knowledge about the collection to Longgu; and to research factors contributing to cultural continuity and change as manifest in language and material culture.
Funding awarded for 1 year, 2011.

Producers and Collectors: Uncovering the Role of Indigenous Agency in the Formation of Museum collections

Led by Drs Annie Clarke, Jude Philp and Robin Torrence.
A partnership between the Australian Museum, and the University of Sydney.

This research will make a significant contribution to Australian and world scholarship, show the innovation and leadership of Australian scholars in the study of museum collections, and promote goodwill and better diplomacy with Australia's nearest neighbours in PNG. Through examining the history of social relations between Papua New Guineans and 'outsiders' in a region that has long been the focus of Australian interests, the project will contribute to the National Priority 'Understanding our region and the world'. By unlocking information about the origin and history of ethnographic collections from Australia's oldest museum, their cultural significance will be shared more widely.
Funding awarded for 4 years, 2011 – 2014.