Guide to the Paintings of the British Museum, Department of Ethnography (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

British Museum. Department of Ethnography
Paintings of the British Museum, Department of Ethnography (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
Collection Number
1 item
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

23 watercolours comprising selections from a folder labelled Portfolio 4118 Tasmanian Indigenous Australians. They comprise drawings and paintings of Indigenous Australians (Tasmania) by Thomas Bock (1790-1857) and Robert Dowling (1827-1886) and a painting by Benjamin Duterreau, also of an Indigeneous Australian (Tasmania).

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the Department of Ethnography, British Museum, London, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1962 (AJCP Reel: M424). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

In 2004 the British Museum moved away from a disciplinary based structure and changed to a geographic focus with the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. Material from other regions were transferred to the relevant departments.

Existence and Location of Originals

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, England.

For more information see British Museum Library, archives and library catalogue (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Artists; Australia; Bock, Thomas; Dowling, Henry, Rev.; Dowling, Robert; Duterreau, Benjamin; Franklin, Jane Lady; Great Britain; Hobart, Tasmania; Paintings, drawings and prints: Tasmania; Paintings, drawings and prints: New South Wales; Indigenous Australians: Tasmania; Aboriginal Australians; Tasmania


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 56, pp. 19-20.

Biographical / Historical

The Department of Ethnography in the British Museum was created in 1946. The ethnographic collections had previously been the responsibility of the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities. From 1970 to 2004 the Department of Ethnography was housed at 6 Burlington Gardens and for most of that time it was known as the Museum of Mankind. In 2004 it moved back to the British Museum in Bloomsbury.

The British Museum acquired the collection of drawings and paintings of J.B. Davis at the sale of his estate in 1883. Joseph Barnard Davis (1801-1881) was a Staffordshire doctor and editor of the Journal of Anthropology. He amassed the largest collection of skulls and skeletons in Britain, nearly all with histories. The collection eventually passed to the Royal College of Surgeons. Davis also collected portraits of Indigenous Australians. In 1867 he acquired a large collection of prints, drawings and ethnographic objects from the widow of George Augustus Robinson (1791-1866), who for twenty years had lived and worked with Indigneous Australians in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip.

Item Descriptions

Series Portfolio 4118. Drawings of Indigenous Australians, c.1837-c.1856

Contains:Collection of oil painted head portraits by Robert Dowling after Thomas Bock (c.1853-1856)Charcoal drawings from J.B. Davis Collection. Subjects include Woureddy (Woreddy), Truggernana (Truganini), Manalargenna, Tunnaminnerwate (Jack), Probelatter (Problatena, Jemmy), Wortabowigee (Fanny) and Numbloote (Jenny) c.1837-1847.