David Livingstone Birthplace – Looking to opening

You may have heard by now that the David Livingstone Birthplace will open on 28th July 2021.

Livingstone (1813-1873) was a Scottish physician and Christian missionary with the London Missionary Society. From his humble beginnings working at the Blantyre Works Mill, he became a life-long anti-slavery campaigner, abolitionist, and well-respected explorer in Southern and Central Africa. He is considered to be of great international importance in terms of his contribution to science, exploration, faith and humanitarianism, and his writings provide a complex body of knowledge that is still being studied today. 

When the Museum reopens, more of its internationally significant collection will be on show as well as reinterpreted displays that reflect the multiple perspectives of Livingstone’s legacy:

  • For the first time, fifty objects of African origin highlighting both parts of Southern and Central African culture as well as colonial history will be on display, selected by Livingstone and African collections’ experts alongside other key items relating to Livingstone’s life; the book collection he used to educate himself as a young boy at the Mill and the red shirt Livingstone is supposed to have been wearing when he met Stanley (“Dr Livingstone I presume?”).
  • Displays and interactives throughout the exhibition will tell the story of Livingstone’s wider crew of men and women instrumental to his expeditions From his wife, Mary Moffat and the well-known figures of Sechele I, Susi, Chuma and Wainwright, to those unnamed individuals who nevertheless played vital roles.
  • Produced in partnership with the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP), a video series featuring individuals connected to Livingstone will discuss his ongoing legacy as it relates to faith, to anti-racism, the story of Africa and his impact on colonialism. 
  • The newly restored Pilkington Jackson Tableaux sculptures, commissioned for the Museum’s original opening in 1929 and created by British sculptor Charles d’Orville, will be presented following extensive restoration. Depicting eight scenes from Livingstone’s life, the stories of the individuals featured at the fringes of the depictions will come to life in a new display. Scripted by celebrated Zimbabwean author, lawyer and Livingstone scholar Petina Gappah, they will illustrate the often unrecognised contributions made by Livingstone’s crew towards his explorations.

Grant MacKenzie, Interim Director at the David Livingstone Birthplace said: “We are delighted to welcome visitors back to the David Livingstone Birthplace this summer to explore the life of David Livingstone. Through our reimagined galleries and programmes, visitors will be able to discover the many aspects of this world famous adventurer and companion, and the untold stories of the extraordinary men and women who are instrumental to his legacy.”

To find out more about the David Livingstone Birthplace and book tickets visit www.david-livingstone-birthplace.org

Photo Credit: Kat Gollock


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