Ethnology is the study of peoples and cultures. The museum’s ethnographic collection comprises over 3,000 objects from Ancient Egypt, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. Many of the objects in the ethnology collections were acquired from collectors whilst others were donated by local people who had travelled abroad.

Much of our ethnographic collection can be seen in our World Stories gallery which was established in 1936. The arrangement, which remained largely untouched for over 70 years, was re-displayed in 2010 to include objects relating to the art, life and culture of peoples from Ancient Egypt, Africa, Amazonia, Peru, Japan, China, India, Polynesia and Australasia.

Key objects include the beautifully painted coffin of  Pa-en-akh-menu, bronze sculptures from Benin and netsuke from Japan.