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The Collection

November 2023 Update: We are currently updating the Collection and we have published a preview of the Collection. We are planning that the online Collection will be updated soon. Please Subscribe to our newsletter for future updates. You may also be interested in our recently launched Reference Library.

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 period to create a material record of Livingstone.

The Collection includes various personal belongings and artefacts of David Livingstone and his family and circle.

  • Extensive manuscripts and papers belonging to Livingstone, including several significant holograph manuscripts of Livingstone and his circle.
  • Various early Livingstone editions.
  • Ethnographic material collected by Livingstone and others.
  • Contemporary photographs and portraits of Livingstone.
  • Multiple 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.

You can read more about Repatriation and Remediation Statement.

Please visit the Collection preview at

We are very grateful to our key funders the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government for their support in helping us deliver the Birthplace Project.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland
Note: Please note that David Livingstone Birthplace (and the David Livingstone Trust) is no longer part of National Trust Scotland (NTS). NTS members will therefore no longer receive discounted/free entry to the Birthplace Museum.

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