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Kent Archaeological Review extract
 

The Cuming Museum.
by G J Dawson.

The Cuming Museum was created by the gift to the then Metropolitan Borough of Southwark in 1902 of the entire collection assembled privately by Richard Cuming and his son Henry Syer Cuming since 1785. This collection was a general one ranging from rocks to ethnography, assembled in a time when knowledge was regarded as a unity.

A gallery was built over the Reading Room of the Public Library in Walworth Road and opened in 1906. The display comprised the entire collection and aimed to show the history of man from the beginning. This display lasted largely unchanged and with no professional staff until 1941 when it was bombed. The museum was closed until 1958 when it was re-opened as a Local History Museum to illustrate the history and archaeology of the Southwark area. The bulk of the material now on show is derived from the old Metropolitan Borough of Southwark but there is some from the neighbouring boroughs of Lambeth, Bermondsey and Camberwell. All the material now being worked on from the Southwark Archaeological Excavation Committee's activities in the area will eventually be housed in the Museum and displayed as far as possible.

The Museum is upstairs in the Newington Public Library, Walworth Road, and is open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5.30 pm, (Thursday to 7 pm), and from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays.

 
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