Inter-University Research Institute Corporation National Institutes for the Humanities National Museum of Ethnology

The George Brown Collection Database


This database contains details for the 3000 artifacts (approximate figure) in the George Brown Collection at the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan.

Since its opening in 1977, the National Museum of Ethnology has been actively involved in ethnological research in Oceania, and has maintained a permanent exhibition on the region. In 1985-86 the George Brown Collection of ethnographic artefacts was purchased by our museum from the University of Newcastle on Tyne, in England, UK. The collection is historically and culturally significant because it was made largely through the efforts of one collector, the Reverend Doctor George Brown, in a sustained, decades-long effort that accompanied his work as a pioneering Methodist missionary in the Pacific Islands. It is also significant because it forms a material record of topics that the collector discussed in his ethnographic and missionary writings. And of course, it is also significant because it represents an assemblage of cultural treasures that the peoples of many Pacific islands can turn to for insight into the lives of their own ancestors.

Using the database

The images shown in the online database are intended for reference only. The image quality is not suitable for publication. 

To find objects and images, visitors can perform a simple search or an advanced search.

For a simple search, please enter inventory-no (if known), object name or type, location, material, or dimension (numbers only, cm length or g weight).

For an advanced search, you can enter combinations of terms in multiple categories.

Use this form to Contact us with comments and suggestions.