The SRU has its own study collection of over two hundred items which are freely accessible for teaching and research. The items come from all three areas, but the majority are Pacific objects deriving from the collections of the Melanesian Missionary Society, donated to the SRU in 1991.
Students’ and fellows’ offices are adjacent to the galleries displaying the Sainsbury Collection, which is a rich resource for teaching and research. It contains over four hundred works of art from the three areas covered by the SRU, many of them of exceptional quality and rarity. As part of their course, MA students prepare presentations based on objects on display in the Sainsbury Centre. In essence, this makes seeing and engaging with the Sainsbury collection part of everyday student experience. The displays at once highlight formal qualities and aesthetic relationships between different cultures, while downplaying traditional concerns of period, region or key artists.
Because of existing collaborative relations, students are also encouraged to access collections in museums in the region, as well as the collections of the British Museum, the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.