Beyond the Binary: Queering collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

A panoramic gallery view of the Pitt Rivers Museum

Heritage Grants

Oxford, Oxfordshire, South East
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
£91200
The University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum has collaborated with partners to reinterpret its collections from an LGBT+ perspective.

Beyond the Binary: Queering and questioning collections and displays at the Pitt Rivers Museum questions existing heritage through events, interpretation and exhibitions.

With the aim of building inclusive practice, the project challenged existing interpretations of the museum’s collections. It identified previously unrepresented stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and others (LGBT+) histories.

What Beyond the Binary has achieved

The project helped to: 

  • provide a more diverse context to objects that tell the stories of LGBT+ histories
  • offer alternative understandings from people with different identities
  • connect a broad range of partners, from researchers to community activists, to reshape the Pitt Rivers museum as a welcoming, inclusive space
  • kick-start a community-focused acquisition programme to add LGBT+ cultural and historical artefacts to collections
  • organise a series of events to encourage discussion on LGBT+ heritage 
  • organise cultural performances and a co-curated exhibition 
  • provide community training in conservation, display and interpretation

Thanks to support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, LGBT+ heritage is now permanently visible at the Pitt Rivers Museum.