Digital Lab Blog

This blog aims to highlight artefacts, stories, histories, and relationships from the collections at MAA. Each post begins with an object or a collection at MAA and explores wider themes including substances of wellbeing and intoxication, process of making, mending, and conservation, digitisation and more!

Explore the most recent blog posts below or use the dropdown menu to filter posts by category. For more stories on collections from across the MAA and the wider University Cambridge Museums consortium, head to the University of Cambridge Museums blog.

Connecting with Culture–thoughts from a UK-based youth

A UK-based Fijian intern shares her experiences of diving deep into culture and tradition through her research and ultimate performance of two Tongan dances, Lakalaka and Tau’olunga .

Adi Lewa Boginisoko

1 August 2023

An Unbecoming King: Making Mighty Chessmen in Porfirian Mexico

What can we learn about the social and political past of a nation through their games? Join us as we explore this through games from Mexico’s tumultuous Porfirio Díaz era.

Joshua Fitzgerald and Jonathan Truitt

25 July 2023

‘I am writing this waiting for the pageant to begin’

A message on the back of a postcard issued for an exhibition organised by the London Missionary Society leads to an examination of the phenomenon of ‘human zoos’ typical of exhibitions at the time.

Maria Chiara Scuderi

18 July 2023

Anthropologists and Photographers: The Poignant and Elliott Collections

A team of four Photographic Collections Assistant reflect on their journey of digitising the Poignant and Elliott collections, featuring photographs of the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and Europe.

Photograph Collections

11 July 2023

Rapid 3D Scanning: Is this the Future?

3D scanning was once reserved for experts, but now anyone with a smartphone can create good-quality digital versions of objects around. Is this the future of creative and collaborative museum practice?

Daniel Simpson

4 July 2023

Bellarmine or Bartmann Jugs from a Ceramic Maker’s Point of View

How can recreating museum objects enhance our understanding? A ceramic maker explores this through her creative practice, which seeks to enable haptic engagements with museum collections.

Lisa Robson

27 June 2023

A Ceremonial Cup of Tea

This post suggests an alternative reading of the life of a woman who lived in Tibet, Sikkim, and Bhutan, analysing it as an encounter between two different tea drinking cultures.

Aayushi Gupta

20 June 2023

Double Identities: A Guanyin Statue in a Carriage Clock Case

When an object is misidentified, is it a ‘mistake’ or something more? Using a Guanyin statue as a case study, I suggest that objects can inhabit two identities when embodying two simultaneous social meanings.

Xintian Ma

13 June 2023

Broken objects whisper their secrets. Are you listening?

What value do broken objects hold? Are they doomed to spend the rest of their days in boxes being ignored? How can we instead use them to enhance our understanding of those objects?

Katrina Dring

6 June 2023

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