University museums share in £1.2m of new funding

University museums share in £1.2m of new funding

The University of Aberdeen's museums have shared in £1.2million of annual funding to be managed by the Scottish Funding Council.

The collections of the University of Aberdeen are among the most important in Scotland, reflecting the worldwide activities of the institution, its graduates and community since its foundation in 1495.

The museum collection has the rare accolade of being a Recognised Collection of National Significance in its entirety, with truly universal collections including substantial holdings of Archaeology, Fine Art, Geology, Herbarium, Medicine, Numismatics, Scientific Instruments, Scottish History, World Cultures and Zoology. Alongside these museum collections are equally important Archives and Rare Book collections.

The University has been awarded a grant of £342,000 over three years by the Scottish Funding Council.

The new funding will enable the University museums to continue essential work to improve the documentation and storage of the collections, but also important work in widening access to the collections through imaginative public programming and exhibitions. This work will include a review of the East Asian cultural collections, the creation of real and online exhibitions, public events such as the ‘Night at the Museums’ and a renewed schools programme.

The University will also work with other members of University Museums in Scotland to appoint a network officer to increase collaboration across Scotland

John Kemp, interim chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Scottish university museums are an important educational and cultural resource for the nation. This funding is a significant investment in the valuable work that goes on there and will also support the museums’ ambition for the future in areas such as digital technology.”

Neil Curtis, Head of Museums and Special Collections at the University of Aberdeen added: “This grant gives us a firm foundation to continue our work looking after the University’s museum collections. What is most important is the Scottish Government’s focus on using the museum collections to engage with a wide range of people. I am therefore very excited by our appointment of two new members of staff who will be able to focus on academic and public engagement.”