Mr Neil Curtis

Mr Neil Curtis
Mr Neil Curtis
Mr Neil Curtis


Head of Museums & Special Collections

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 274304
Office Address

Sir Duncan Rice Library University of Aberdeen Aberdeen AB24 3AA Scotland

Digital & Information Services


Neil Curtis is Head of Museums and Special Collections and Honorary Senor Lecturer in Social Science at the University of Aberdeen.

He has studied Archaeology (Glasgow), Museum Studies (Leicester) and Education (Aberdeen), and has worked with the Aberdeen collections since 1988. He teaches across a range of subjects, including Archaeology, Anthropology, Art History, History, Law, Museum Studies and Scottish Ethnology. His published research includes current museum issues, including repatriation, decolonisation and ethics, the history of museums and exhibitions in Scotland, and the prehistory of North-East Scotland.

He is a Fellow of the Museums Association and is a member of the working group reviewing its Code of Ethics. He has been a member of the Museums Associations' Ethics Committee, the Scottish Museums Recognition Committee, Convenor of University Museums in Scotland, Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vice-Chair of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel and Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

University Health, Safety & Wellbeing Committee

External Memberships

Fellow of the Museums Association (FMA)

Member, Museums Associations' Ethics Committee

Member, Scottish Museums Recognition Committee

Member; Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art at Arts Council England



Convenor, University Museums in Scotland, Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Vice-Chair, Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel

Vice-President, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

Within a broad interest in the ways that people understand and manipulate their world through ideas of identity, material and time, his research focuses on a critical study of museums and archaeology. This has included young children's learning in museums, considerations of the social and cultural roles of museums today, including repatriation and the treatment of human remains, and studies of Scottish museum history.

Research Specialisms

  • Archaeology
  • Curatorial Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Scottish History

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

History of Museums

  1. The Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry, Glasgow 1911
  2. Late 18th/early 19th century museums in the University of Aberdeen

Contemporary museum issues

  1. Repatriation
  2. Museums as sacred places
  3. Human remains in museums
  4. Scottish museums and Treasure Trove
  5. Museum education

Scottish archaeology

  1. Roman finds in North-East Scotland
  2. Prehistoric Beakers in North-East Scotland

Funding and Grants

Leverhulme Trust 'Beakers and Bodies' project (PI)

AHRC Connected Communities - bennachie (Co-I)


Teaching Responsibilities


AY1003 Archaeology in Action
ME33HA Medical Humanities
AH3501 Curation: Theory and Practice
AY4510 Issues in Archaeology
AY2505/AY2507 Archaeology of the North


AT5912 Curating an Exhibition (course co-ordinator)
AT5044 Museum Practice (course co-ordinator)
AT5043 The Museum Idea
AT5053 Museums and Colonialism
LS55UU Cultural Property Issues: Law, Art and Museums
EF5001 History and core genres of ethnology and folklore
AT5505 Philosophy and Methods of Research in Social Anthropology, Ethnology and Cultural History II
EF5502 Scottish contexts and practical fieldwork
AY5504 Advanced Archaeological Approaches

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Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

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