The second half of the nineteenth century witnessed an enhanced role for museums in Great Britain. There was also a parallel growth in private collections and an eagerness to collect souvenirs from distant lands. Material culture emerged as an important means to understand the evolutionary history of humankind. The development of archaeology and anthropology may be situated in this backdrop. The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford was founded in 1884 with a founding collection of archaeological and ethnographic objects from around the world. The donor was Augustus Henry Lane Fox, better known as Col. Pitt Rivers. The Indian collection of archaeological objects, amassed over the succeeding years, forms the subject of this article. I attempt to show how the colony and the metropolis were tied in a broad network of connections. I also argue that this enterprise of ‘collecting’—participated in by colonial servants, missionaries and others—lent an important dimension to the beginning of prehistoric research in the subcontinent. © 2011, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.