Mr Neil Curtis

Mr Neil Curtis

Head of Museums & Special Collections

Mr Neil Curtis
Mr Neil Curtis

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272929
work +44 (0)1224 274304
fax +44 (0)1224 274302
The University of Aberdeen King's College
University of Aberdeen
AB24 3SW
Web Links


Born in Glasgow in 1964, Neil Curtis came to Aberdeen in 1988 where he is now Head of Museums and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Anthropology. He studied Archaeology (Glasgow, 1986), Museum Studies (Leicester, 1988) and Education (Aberdeen, 1995).

He is married to Elizabeth Curtis, Lecturer in Education in Aberdeen.


Research Interests

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.

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

Research Grants

Leverhulme Trust 'Beakers and Bodies' project (PI)

AHRC Connected Communities - bennachie (Co-I)


Teaching Responsibilities


AY1001 Introduction to Archaeology 1
KL155B Archaeological Fieldwork Portfolio 1 Introduction
KL205K Archaeological Fieldwork Portfolio 2
KL3052 Archaeological Fieldwork Portfolio 3
KL3553 Archaeology DissertationIntroduction
LS4028 Moveable Property
KL4054 Archaeology Dissertation


AT5508 Curating an Exhibition (course co-ordinator)
HA5001 Art History research
HI5001 Introduction to historical research
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
HA5504 Imaging Scottish History: Art, Museums and Visual Culture
Further Info

External Responsibilities

He is Convenor of University Museums in Scotland, Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and Secretary of its Aberdeen and North-East Section, a member of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel and of the Museum's Association's 2012 Confernece Panel. He was a member of the Museums Galleries Scotland Working Party on Human Remains, the Treasure Trove Advisory Panel and the Museums Association’s ‘Collections for the Future’ enquiry panel. He is a member of the University's Senate, Advisory Group on on Research Ethics and Governance and Advisory Group on Collections Strategy.