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Royal Commonwealth Society Artefacts Collection

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/ORCS

Scope and Contents

Soon after its foundation in 1868, the Royal Colonial Institute had envisaged the establishment of a museum, but following the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition in South Kensington, and the creation of the Imperial Institute, the plan was abandoned. Over the years, however, the society built up a small, eclectic collection of objects as members donated items they had received as gifts or purchased during work or travel overseas.


  • Creation: -2500 - 1970-05

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


12 archive box(es) (12 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Very little is known of the provenance of some objects.

Existence and Location of Copies

A small number of objects from this collection were digitised as part of the 'Curious Objects' exhibition, held at Cambridge University Library between November 2016 and March 2017. Where an item has been digitised, thumbnail images have been added to the catalogue, along with links to the Digital Library.


This collection level description was created by MJC.

Includes index.
2018-01-31 10:19:06+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom