Albany Museum

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The Albany Museum is located in Grahamstown, South Africa and was established in 1855.

On 3 July 1855, a group of four doctors, Hutton, Edmunds, Armstrong and Atherstone, and Mr A.L. McDonald, an officer of the garrison Ordnance Department, met for the purpose of forming a medical society. On 11 September 1855, a resolution was proposed by Dr Hutton, and seconded by Edmunds, for the establishment of a ‘General Museum’, to be ‘instituted solely for the purpose of aiding in the prosecution of scientific pursuit and of affording to the public of this City greater facility for the diffusion of general education’. Therefore, marking this date as the official birth of the Albany Museum.

After this, moves to open a museum to the public progressed rapidly. Donations began to stream in and a room was provided by Dr William Edmunds in his home in Bathurst Street.

In the minutes to a meeting of the Society held in January 1856, the specimens that had been received were listed under six divisions: Natural History; Native Manufacture; Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology; Geology and Mineralogy; Palaeontology; and Curiosities.

The Albany Museum opened for the first time to the public in the room in Dr Edmunds house on the 2 and 4 February 1856. The Albany Museum was the second museum to be founded in South Africa. The first was the South African Museum in Cape Town in 1825.

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