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The work of the Centre is made possible by the generosity of Alejandro & Charlotte Santo Domingo, and Mrs Julio Mario Santo Domingo with Andrés & Lauren Santo Domingo.

The Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research

The British Museum cares for an important collection of Latin American archaeological, historical and contemporary material culture, which spans more than 10,000 years of human history. These objects encapsulate some of the most remarkable narratives of cultural development on the planet.

The Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research facilitates work by some of the world’s leading students and scholars to produce and communicate research related to these collections. While our global community is facing major challenges to its ability to build a positive and sustainable future, the Centre reveals the stories behind millennia of successful cultural achievement. By bringing together students, scholars and communities with a passion for Latin America, this Centre builds connections around the world, with the aim of providing new perspectives that can inform and improve our societies in the years to come.

Increasing understanding

Unlocking the hidden stories in the Museum’s Latin American collections is at the core of this project. The priority of the Centre, directed by Jago Cooper, Head of the Americas Section, is to enable scholars, students, collections specialists, source communities and visiting Research Fellows to study the collections and the narratives they contain, as well as to communicate this knowledge. The Centre engages in the critical re-evaluation of the role of museums, helping to construct sustainable frameworks for the exchange of culturally diverse worldviews.

Collaborating internationally

The Centre’s mission, to strengthen collaboration between researchers in Latin America and the UK, is forged across a range of cultural institutions and communities including museums, Indigenous Peoples, universities, and artist collectives. This is achieved through the organisation of international activities including lectures, seminar series, visiting research fellows, conferences, gatherings and digital collaborations between Latin America and the UK.

In addition, the Centre promotes grassroots initiatives and opportunities for collaboration to emerge from discussions with colleagues, NGOs and government led initiatives from Latin America.

Supporting research

Visiting Research Fellows

Each year, the Centre invites two visiting Research Fellows from Latin America to visit and work at the British Museum focusing on a specific research project discussed with Centre staff. During this visit the Fellows are introduced to a wider Museum and Higher Education network of colleagues, which will foster the sharing of skills and experience, and, in addition, provide Fellows with wider recognition and communication of their research.

International Training Programme

Every year, the Centre supports a Latin American Fellow to participate in the British Museum’s International Training Programme (ITP), which takes place over the course of six weeks in the summer. This course is designed to share information through a combination of presentations, hands-on workshops, panel discussions and working groups that cover the full range of museum activities.

Find more information on the International Training Programme page

Sharing knowledge

Communication with both scholarly and public audiences is essential to the success of the Centre. The Centre uses a number of channels to share its findings in multiple languages. These findings will be shared through academic papers, conference participation, public lectures, magazine features, and multi-media digital outputs.