The LEMUR (LEarning with MUseum Resources) project ran from 2000 – 2003 with funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) to contribute to the Distributed National Electronic Resource. It aimed to provide wider access to the University of Aberdeen's historical collections and to demonstrate the value of university museum and gallery collections in the delivery of higher education teaching and in enhancing the learning process.

At the heart of the project was the creation of a web-based database of thousands of images and accompanying text, accompanied by a virtual version of the displays of the University’s Marischal Museum, and incorporated into undergraduate teaching at the University and elsewhere.

Academic staff from Physics, History of Art, Cultural History and History and Philosophy of Science worked with IT specialists and museum curators right from the start; selecting objects, deciding how they would be photographed, updating catalogues, writing captions and developing new teaching packages.

All enquiries should be send to museums@abdn.ac.uk

Teaching resources

LEMUR was designed around a series of specific undergraduate courses for the University of Aberdeen in Cultural History, History and Philosophy of Science, History of Art and Physics. These courses were:

Cultural History

  • Culture, History and Anthropology
  • Culture, Identity and Technology
  • Material Culture and Museums

History and Philosophy of Science

  • History and Philosophy of Science 1
  • History and Philosophy of Science 2
  • Modern Physical Sciences

History of Art

  • Painting in a Stateless Nation: Scottish Art 1707-1837

Physics

  • Light Science

People

One of the strengths of the LEMUR project was that it brought together people from many different departments of the University. Most team members were involved with the project right from the start.

  • Michael Arnott (Technology Support Officer, Historic Collections) was responsible for the creation of moving images and web-mounting the database.
  • Dr Colin Calder (Support Officer, Learning Technology Unit) was responsible for the creation of teaching packages using the LEMUR resources.
  • Neil Curtis (Senior Curator, Marischal Museum) was Project Manager and responsible for the creation of the digitised resource for the Marischal Museum collections.
  • Joan Fisher (Support Officer, Learning Technology Unit) was responsible for the creation of teaching packages using the LEMUR resources.
  • Dr Elizabeth Hallam (Director of Cultural History) was responsible for developing teaching material for Introduction to Historical and Cultural Anthropology and Material Culture and Museums.
  • Dr Alan Knox (Manager, Historic Collections) was Project Director and was responsible for co-ordination of financial management.
  • Dr Ben Marsden (Lecturer, Cultural History) was responsible for developing teaching material for History and Philosophy of Science courses and Culture, Identity and Technology.
  • John McIntosh (sub-contracted from Medical Illustration) was Project Photographer.
  • Iain Middleton (Learning Technology Developer, Learning Technology Unit) was responsible for the development of the database and creation of teaching packages using LEMUR resources.
  • Dr John Morrison (Lecturer, History of Art) was responsible for developing teaching material for History of Art courses.
  • Dr John Reid (Senior Lecturer, Physics and Curator, Natural Philosophy Collection) was responsible for the creation of the digitised resource from the Natural Philosophy Collection and for developing teaching material for physics courses.
  • Patricia Spence (Manager, Learning Technology Unit) was responsible for the creation of teaching packages using the LEMUR resources.
  • Anne Taylor (Curatorial Assistant, LEMUR) wa responsible for co-ordination of project activities, including object selection, photography, digitisation processes, caption writing and web-mounting.