A British Museum touring exhibition featuring rarely seen treasures from the collection of Sir Hans Sloane can be seen at Aberystwyth’s Ceredigion Museum.

For the curious and interested was co-created in collaboration with two UK partner museums and their local communities, giving each venue the chance to bring a unique perspective.

Physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) left his collection of antiquities, artworks, and natural curiosities to the UK upon his death, with the intention of preservation and that they satisfy “the desire of the curious”. This collection became the foundation of the British Museum.

The exhibition reunites a selection of objects from Sloane’s collection currently cared for by the British Museum, British Library and Natural History Museum.

Each object offers unique insight into Sloane’s curiosity about the world, and demonstrates the breadth and diversity of his assembled collection. Key objects include a carved ivory hunting horn (1490–1530), silk embroidered flowers (17th century) and six etchings of shells, Wenceslaus Hollar (1645−46).

Sloane’s collecting was partly financed by profits from transatlantic enslavement, and the exhibition confronts this complex history, revealing how and why these items from around the world were united. It also explores the stories of people Sloane worked with and relied upon for their knowledge and skills, including indigenous and enslaved people, as well as other collectors, explorers, and naturalists from around the world.

In collaboration with Ceredigion Museum and the group Voices from the Edge, which consists of seven creative practitioners who live in rural west Wales, the exhibition explores what Sloane's collection from over 300 years ago means today. Collectively, and through creative responses by Voices from the Edge, the collaboration seeks to understand connections between wealth generated from transatlantic enslavement and the objects in the museums.

Supported by the Welsh Government and the Association of Independent Museums, this collaboration with Voices from the Edge is Ceredigion Museum’s first step in ensuring the presence and input of a global majority voice. The project contributes to the wider commitment of the Welsh Government’s Anti-racist Wales Action Plan.