The project will relaunch David Livingstone Birthplace site and re-interpret his story for a new generation, telling his life-story from multiple perspectives, from his humble beginnings as a Blantyre mill-worker to becoming a world famous adventurer.
David Livingstone Birthplace is the only small independent museum in Scotland that is dedicated not only to preserving the legacy of David Livingstone, but importantly examining his work within the complex and painful realities of slavery, colonialism and Nineteenth Century European attitudes about African people and community groups.
This puts the museum in a unique position to be central to discussions around Scotland’s role in slavery and colonisation and how that is represented both in our interpretation of David Livingstone’s story and the objects we hold within the museum. We embrace that position, and are committed to challenging unconscious bias, privilege, apathy and ignorance. We consider all of this in relation to understanding Scottish heritage, missionary work, colonial history, and specifically with regard to the untold and contested narratives relating to Black history.
The David Livingstone Trust (DLT) was entrusted in 1930 with the ownership of David Livingstone Centre at Blantyre, which includes the Listed Building of his birth, surrounding parkland, and the 2,000 piece David Livingstone collection. The Trust is charged through its constitutional documents with keeping alive the name and memory of David Livingstone at the site of his birth by making it available to the public, and providing an interesting, educational and enjoyable cultural experience.
The founding purpose of David Livingstone’s Birthplace was ‘to keep forever fresh in the generous heart of youth the name and the story of David Livingstone and to make his humble birthplace a place of inspiration’ - a purpose that still holds strong today as we continue to be the foremost place in the world where people can learn about and be inspired by Livingstone’s extraordinary life and legacy.
David Livingstone’s Birthplace will be a space for encounters between people, places, epochs and ideas. It will be a dynamic visitor experience where people can learn about and be inspired by Livingstone’s story, his childhood home and our collection.
Today we continue Livingstone’s mission by enabling people from Scotland, Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond to engage in intercultural dialogue and participate in the world as active global citizens.