David Livingstone Birthplace


Episode 4: Inside the Birthplace Collection: Kate Simpson Talks About the Manganga (Man'janga) Lip Ring

In this episode Dr Kate Simpson, Lecturer in Digital Media and Information Studies at the University of Glasgow, talks to Sophie Wylie, Museum Studies student at the University of Glasgow, about the Manganga (Man'janga) lip ring David Livingstone took in May 1859. Livingstone subsequently sent the lip ring back as a present to his daughter Agnes and notes in his letter how “sorry” the original owner had been to part with it. Kate discusses the significance of the lip ring and the problems inherent in its acquisition, as it was transformed from a piece of woman’s jewellery to a colonial artefact. The lip ring is on loan to the David Livingstone Birthplace museum collection.


Episode 3: Inside the Birthplace Collection: Kate Smith Talks About A Photograph Album

In this week's episode, Collections Manager Kate Smith talks to Sophie Wylie, Museum Studies student at the University of Glasgow, about a photograph album in the David Livingstone Birthplace Collection. The album likely covers a mission station in Southern Africa in the early 20th century. One of the photographs in this album depicts local children playing a game. Kate recognises this game as a version of one she played as a child in North America - 'mancala'. Through discussions with trainees at the museum, the team discovered a connection they didn't expect.


Episode 2: Inside the Birthplace Collection: Lesley Scott on David Livingstone's Humerus Bone

In this episode Conservator Lesley Scott talks to Sophie Wylie about the cast of the left arm humerus bone of David Livingstone (1813-1873), displaying the damage done to his upper arm when he was mauled by a lion. The condition of the bone verified that the remains which were returned from Africa in 1873 were indeed those of the famous explorer. Three casts of the bone are part of the David Livingstone Birthplace museum collection.


Episode 1: Kate Simpson Interviews Justin Livingstone About Missionary Travels Digital Edition

Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa (1857) is David Livingstone’s major literary accomplishment. It serves as the primary public statement of both his personal objectives as a missionary and explorer and his theories about the future prospects of south-central Africa. Following publication, Missionary Travels became one of the most influential works on Africa of the mid-Victorian period.

It encouraged other expeditionary travellers, inspired numerous missionary ventures, and contributed significantly to the intensification of interest in the continent prior to the “Scramble for Africa” in the late-nineteenth century.


National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland