National Museum of Scotland opens Dr Livingstone I Presume?

. November 23, 2012

National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh opens Dr Livingstone I Presume? an exhibition on view Friday 23 November 2012 to Sunday 7 April 2013.

Raising the curtain on a national celebration of the 200th anniversary of Livingstone’s birth (19 March 2013), the exhibition of around 100 objects draws together a wide range of artefacts, documents and artworks with a personal connection to Livingstone in one place for the first time.

This exhibition traces his life story from humble beginnings to national hero. From his early working-life in a cotton mill to studying medicine and divinity and becoming a missionary in Africa, as well as the legacy which has led to strong modern-day links between Scotland and Malawi.

Livingstone had a vision to end the slave trade and to open up Africa to Christianity and lawful commerce. He was the first European to cross Africa from west to east and whilst he made few converts to Christianity, his success as an explorer and his work as an abolitionist secured for him a lasting reputation.

Livingstone himself collected material for the collections of what is now National Museums Scotland, and examples on display will include a weaving loom, mineral samples and African artefacts. As well as objects from National Museums’ own collections, there will be loans from a wide range of institutions, including the David Livingstone Centre, the Royal Geographical Society, Glasgow Museums and the National Library of Scotland and private individuals.

Highlights include the hats reputedly worn on the occasion of the famous meeting between Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley, the journalist working for the New York Herald, who tracked across Africa in pursuit of the missing Scot and, on finding him, uttered the immortal phrase which gives the exhibition its title. There will also be the tools of his trades, both as a missionary and an explorer. Poignant evidence of Livingstone’s first-hand observation of the slave trade that he so vehemently opposed is seen in the form of collars and chains that he himself removed from African slaves. –

Category: Antiquities

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