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About Sarah Longair

I joined the School of History and Heritage in 2016 after working for 11 years at the British Museum. In my research, I examine the history of the British Empire in East Africa and the Indian Ocean world, in particular through material and visual culture, and architecture. I have published on the history of museums in the empire, and am also interested in maritime and oceanic history, and the history of islands.

Subject Specialism

History of the British Empire, history of museums and material culture


  • PhD: History — Birkbeck, University of London, 2012
  • MA: Imperialism and Post-colonial societies — Birkbeck, University of London, 2006
  • BA: Modern History — University of Oxford, 2001


  • Objects of Colonial Memory — British Academy-Leverhulme Trust Small Grant,
  • Objects of Empire: Displaying Colonial Knowledge in the Western Indian Ocean — Leverhulme Trust,


Member of AHRC ‘Empire of Islands network’ Member of Research Committee of the British Institute of Eastern Africa

Orcid ID


Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations

  • University of Leicester — Honorary Visiting Fellow
  • Royal Historical Society — Fellow
  • Museums and Galleries History Group — Secretary