The Ashmolean came into existence in 1682, when the wealthy antiquary Elias Ashmole gifted his collection to the University. It opened as Britain’s first public museum, and the world’s first university museum, in 1683.
Though the collection has evolved considerably, the founding principle remains: that knowledge of humanity across cultures and across times is important to society. A laudable intention, but the uncomfortable truth is that much of the collection was inevitably selected and obtained as a result of colonial power.
The knowledge of Nature is very necessary to human life and health.