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Magic and memory

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Adams, Julie 


In the archives at the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology are the field notes, journal and handwritten catalogue that accompany a collection of 200 ethnographic artefacts made in New Caledonia in 1914. This essay considers the context of the collection’s formation as well as its present significance and salience. In particular, it explores how this collection, hardly examined in the 100 years since the death of the collector, offers a valuable opportunity to think afresh about complex issues of loss, memory and remembrance when a little-known past is curated for new, present purposes.


This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Oxford University Press via


36 Creative Arts and Writing, 3601 Art History, Theory and Criticism, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies, 5002 History and Philosophy Of Specific Fields

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Journal of the History of Collections

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Oxford University Press (OUP)
This publication is an outcome of the European Research Council project Pacific Presences: Oceanic Art and European Museums (award reference: 324146).