Known for a long time under the title 'exotic collection', its component parts are a splendid,
concrete and everlasting reflection upon travel as a form of knowledge and upon the birth
of ethnology as science. Among the donors, the travellers have a very important role. It is
the time when they preceded the ethnologs, and for some of them, quite often, an active
curiosity replaced the academic manner, the results being astonishing as well. Further, we
are going to enumerate just a few of the donors who have contributed to the foundation and
enriching of the collections.
Franz Binder (1824-1875). The founder of the Sibian collections of extra -
European ethnography. Merchant. He stayed for almost ten years in Africa, at
Cairo, then at Khartoum (1852-1861). In 1857, he was appointed vice-consul of
the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in Sudan. He travelled in the White Nile region
(1860-1861). In 1862, he donated his African collection (approximately 500
objects), which had belonged mainly to Nilotic tribes. Franz Binder's quality of
collecting and historicity confer importance to this collection in the European
space, as an example of the 19th century ethnography:"Undoubtedly, it is the
oldest closed collection from the superior region of the Nile known to us by now."
(Walter Hirschberg, Volkerkunde Museum, Vienna)
- Andreas Breckner (1844-1890). Physician on the 'Fasana' Corvette, in the Royal Navy of the Austrian-Hungarian
Empire. He travelled to China, Japan, Siam (today, Thailand), Java (Indonesia), Ceylon (today, Sri Lanka), India
- Carl F. Jickeli (1850-1925). Naturalist, president of the Ardelean Society for Natural Sciences between 1898 and
1925. He went on an expedition (1870-1871) to Abyssinia (today, Ethiopia).
- Arthur von Sachsenheim. Physician on a ship. Donations in 1896 and 1897. Objects from Asia: China, Hong Kong,
India, Ceylon (today, Sri Lanka); Africa: Oriental Africa, Cape Verde Islands; America: Brazil; but also from Turkey
and Norway: from the Saami people (the Lapps).
- Gustav A. Schoppelt. Geologist. Work journeys in Australia (1896), Ural (1898), Siberia, and Dutch Guyana
(1902). He donated a collection of botanical, zoological and ethnographic objects. The ethnographic objects came
- Hermann von Hannenheim. Consul in Egypt at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1907, he donated an Egyptian
mummy with sarcophagus, an ancient piece (over 2,000 years old) having an outstanding ethnographic value.
- Karl Meliska, correspondent member of the Ardelean Society for Natural Sciences from Sibiu, who lived in
Sydney, Australia. Along the years, he sent a very interesting collection of objects originating mainly from Oceania.
- Travellers such as Catalin Rang, a former lecturer in Congo (ex-Zaire) in the 70s, and his wife, Violeta played an
important part in establishing the new collections.