James Delbourgo will be giving the Phi Beta Kappa Lecture/History of the Health Sciences Lecture on "Slavery, Empire, and the Cabinet of Curiosities: Origins of the British Museum." The lecture will take place on Wednesday, February 28, at noon in the Pinn Hall Conference Center Auditorium. The lecture is being co-presented by the Beta of Virginia chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the President's Commission on Slavery and the University, the Department of History, and the Claud Moore Health Sciences Library's History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series.
Prof. Delbourgo is Associate Professor of the History of Science and Atlantic World at Rutgers University, where his research combine the history of science with imperial and global history and the history of collecting and museum studies. His most recent book is a biography of Hans Sloane, a wealthy London society physician and insatiable collector, who married the daughter of a sugar plantation family and was able to indulge his passion for collecting and cataloging objects and people. At his death in 1753, his collection of more than 71,000 objections was bequeathed to King George II for use the by the nation. This formed the foundation of the British Museum in 1759.