David Livingstone Birthplace

The Collection

July 2020 Update: Currently, we are working on updating the collection ahead of the centre's launch. The collection is currently accessible online by request (via our Enquiry Form). We expect it to become publicly available in the new few months. Please Subscribe to our newsletter for future updates.

The David Livingstone Birthplace collection is unique and internationally significant. At their core are many of the items that were saved and returned to Britain by Livingstone’s African companions, Susi and Chuma, along with many other items that have been subsequently collected by the local people who formed the David Livingstone Trust (DLT). As such they represent a remarkable, international effort by community-members across a considerable stretch of time to create a material record of Livingstone.

The collections include various personal belongings and artefacts of David Livingstone and his family and circle.

  • Extensive manuscripts and papers belonging to Livingstone, including a number of extremely important holograph manuscripts of Livingstone and his circle.
  • Various early Livingstone editions.
  • Ethnographic material collected by Livingstone and others.
  • Contemporary photographs and portraits of Livingstone.
  • Various items of Livingstone memorabilia.
  • The Blantyre Works library, an important surviving example of an early workers’ education initiative.
  • A series of artworks inspired by Livingstone, including a unique set of backlit bas relief tableaux by Charles d’Orville Pilkington Jackson, housed in a dedicated gallery.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland