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wednesday Wednesday 13 June 2018

thursday Thursday 14 June 2018

friday Friday 15 June 2018

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Session 1A Teaching and Student Engagement with Collections



Ruth Fletcher, The Hunterian, Glasgow University, UK

The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery has lived through the evolution of both universities and museums as institutions. Most recently, The Hunterian repositioned itself as a museum that aims to better serve its academic population and align directly with the aims of the University. Initiatives like the MUSE (MUseum Student Educators) and Hunterian Associates Programme, and various forms of work placement formalise the student learning experience both for the student and for staff.

This presentation asks:

  • What can, and should, university museums provide for their institution's students?
  • How can university museums provide meaningful learning experiences for students whilst meeting core university and museum agenda?
  • Can university museums ensure that learning experiences are beneficial to both students and staff?
  • What are the challenges of working to the academic timetable?


Ruth Fletcher is a Training & Development Professional and former school teacher. She came to The Hunterian at University of Glasgow with training management experience in a range of large organisations across the public and private sectors, including Scottish universities and the UK national museum, the Victoria & Albert in London.


Fanny Marcon & Sofia Talas, Padua University, Italy

The Museum of the History of Physics in Padua has been engaging students with its collection of scientific instruments in many different ways, particularly in recent years. Students lead guided visits for diverse audiences and supervise Museum-related laboratories for schools. Post-graduate students in Science Communication have developed apps and exhibitions focused on the Museum's instruments. High-school students have been involved in workshops at the Museum and are now cataloguing the collections of historical scientific instruments kept at their own schools.

All these activities and projects share the same methodology, based on "reading" the different layers of information that lie in university scientific instruments. This presentation will outline this methodology, as well as the challenges and outputs of these activities both for the students and for the Museum. In particular, we will examine if and how these activities leave room for the students' creativity.


Fanny Marcon is a PhD student in «Epistémologie, histoire des sciences et des techniques» at University Paris Diderot-Paris 7. Her PhD research focuses on the transfer of scientific and technological knowledge in the Veneto region during the nineteenth century. She has been collaborating with the Museum of the History of Physics of the University of Padua since 2009.

Sofia Talas is Curator of the Museum of the History of Physics at the University of Padua. Her main research interests are the history of scientific instruments and the history of physics from the 18th to the 20th century.


Jill Sullivan, Bristol University, UK

The University of Bristol Theatre Collection was established in 1951 to support the work of the University's Drama Department. Since that time, the Collection has grown substantially and is now a globally recognised research resource for students, academics, the Cultural & Creative industries, and the general public. An Accredited Museum since 2001 and holding Archive Services Accreditation since September 2017, the Theatre Collection now works across a range of arts-based academic subjects both within and beyond the University. Over the last few years there has been a perceptible shift in attitudes towards using archival and museum objects amongst participating students, from an expectation of digital facilities and a hesitant attitude to working with 'real' archival items, to an actively engaged involvement both within and beyond the curriculum. This presentation outlines current methodologies and working practices at the Theatre Collection, examining our work with staff and students in the academic departments and highlighting aspects that have proved particularly successful. In particular, the paper will discuss the way we engage with students in both curatorial and non-curatorial projects, inviting discussion around the apparent shift in attitude towards the 'real' (as opposed to digital) object as a source of investigation and inspiration.


Dr. Jill Sullivan is an experienced researcher and HE teacher, specializing in nineteenth-century theatre/popular culture. Retraining as an archivist in 2015, she now works as the Assistant Keeper: User Services at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, where her primary role entails co-leading object-based learning sessions in the University.

Session 1B Teaching and Student Engagement with Collections: round table


Session 1B Subtheme A. Engaging with Primary School / High School

1B.1 EDUCATION IN Rijksmuseum BOERHAAVE: from 8 to 88

Hans Hooijmaijers, Rijksmuseum BOERHAAVE, Leiden, Netherlands

When I joined the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, my first project was to set up an educational program for the secondary school. A new subject taught pupils the background of scientific research and astronomy, ideally suited for a trip to Boerhaave. The program fit within the tradition of the museum, as it has always had education in its mission.

Nowadays, Rijksmuseum Boerhaave has a whole range of courses from 8 to 88 years old. In my talk I will give an overview of this range, including workshops for primary schools, working with replicas for secondary schools, handling the real objects with university students, and 'Salon Boerhaave' for adults. The main theme in all of these varieties is the collection. The intention of all the programs is to sketch a historic background on today's scientific society and to interest people in science. Some of the programs are given each year on the same basis, but quite a few are tailored to specific groups. My paper will elaborate on one of each of these types. I will conclude with the lessons we learnt from these programs as well as the work on new programs for the refurbished museum.


Hans Hooijmaijers is the Vice Director at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave. He started as a curator making a program for secondary school students. Later he curated exhibitions on weather, light, food, clocks, and telescopes. His latest writing projects were on Dutch orreries, the Leiden Observatory, and the history of Dutch navigation. In December 2017 he delivered the completely refurbished museum.


Andrew Parkin, Great North Museum, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

The English National Curriculum requires pupils to study the Ancient Greeks at Key Stage 2 (7 – 11 years). The Curriculum is not prescriptive, providing teachers with opportunities to create their own programmes of study. However, the open-ended nature of the Curriculum gives teachers, who frequently have little background knowledge of Ancient Greece, no guidance on content or what supporting materials are available. With this in mind the Great North Museum worked with Newcastle University and a large, local primary school to develop a curriculum that drew on the museum's Greek Archaeology collection and other local resources. The project created, and delivered, lesson plans for both the classroom and museum on different aspects of the Greek world, including its legacy. These lessons were centred around objects from the collection, with an emphasis on close observation to encourage creative responses to Greek material culture. As part of the project Year 4 children made their own artworks inspired by Greek originals, some of which were incorporated into a display in the museum's Greek gallery. The project successfully created a new curriculum that made extensive use of local resources and was designed to meet the specific needs of local children.


Andrew Parkin is a Curator at the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle, where he is responsible for the archaeology and ethnography collections. He is co-editor of On the Fascination of Objects, a book about Newcastle University's Shefton Collection of Greek Archaeology.


Kate Noble, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University, UK

The Fitzwilliam Museum and University of Cambridge Museums have been working in partnership with the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education since 2008 to embed collections and object-based learning in the higher education experience of undergraduate and postgraduate trainee teachers. The UCM run annual sessions for the entire Primary PGCE cohort and the Fitzwilliam Museum also offers week-long teacher trainee placements. The partnership encourages creative teaching approaches and demonstrates the value of object-based teaching and learning outside the classroom. Participants are encouraged to consider how the project might have a lasting impact on their classroom practice.

This case study focuses on two current examples of our partnership work providing an overview of the Fitzwilliam/National Gallery cultural placement programme and the Content Led Integrated Learning (CLIL) Project with Modern Language teachers. Outcomes of both projects include:

  • The development of effective questioning strategies based on a dialogic approach to teaching and learning;
  • A greater understanding of the cross-curricular possibilities presented from collections based teaching and learning;
  • The development of creative teaching pedagogies;
  • Teachers incorporate objects and paintings into their lessons on a day to day basis;
  • More long term legacy on teacher pedagogy through contact with ex-trainees, teachers and mentors.


Kate Noble holds a PhD in the Development of Visual Literacy in Young Children, and a BEd in Art and Early Years Education. Her research interests include: Visual literacy, multimodality, creativity, drawing, making, play, dialogic learning, metacognition, art and design education, school and museum partnerships, digital technology and learning, teacher training and CPD, teacher and pupil well-being.

Session 1B Subtheme B. Engaging with Higher Education


Hanna Kjösnes & Klara Nordström Sundborg, Gustavianum, Uppsala University, Sweden

Gustavianum, Uppsala University's Museum, established an internship programme four years ago. Through the programme, we have had the opportunity to work with the museum's storage facility and with one collection in particular: the Fryklöf Collection of Weights and Measures. Our task was to gather information about the objects and digitize this information via an online database known as Alvin, the intention of which is to serve as a publication platform for the museum's collections. This was an opportunity for us as it is more common for history students to work with written sources than material objects. Through this process we were able to utilize our skills as historians in a new context and gain valuable experience working in an interdisciplinary setting. We are here to present our work, discuss our experiences, and share the lessons we have learned from working at the Gustavianum Historical Collections. This will serve as an example of what an internship programme can offer students and how we as students can contribute to the work at a university museum.


While interns at Gustavianum, Uppsala University's Museum, both Hanna Kjösnes and Klara Nordström Sundborg were students at the Historical Programme at Uppsala University. They have since received their Bachelor's in History and History of Science and Ideas (respectively).


Wim H. Hupperetz & Marike van Roon, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

In 2009 it was decided to unite the rare and valuable library collections of the University of Amsterdam, the University Museum and the Allard Pierson Museums into one new department: UvA Heritage. The Allard Pierson Museum and the Special Collections kept presenting themselves as two different brands with separate activities. This will change in the near future.

We are creating a new heritage centre, called Allard Pierson, Museum and Knowledge Institute. This centre will provide a hub for the University's Heritage Collections. Scholars and the public will meet and work with the collections. The centre will have three departments:

  1. Knowledge and Collections
    In this department the management of collections will be accommodated. The department will promote the use of these collections for teaching and research and will organize activities for students, researchers and teachers. In the so-called Allard Pierson Institute internships, PhD's, and fellows will be facilitated.
  2. Public and Presentation
    In this department all activities for the general public will be managed. The permanent museum galleries will tell the story of different cultures, from Ancient Egypt to Modern Amsterdam. We will show two large temporary expositions a year, on general topics, and aimed at a large audience. In the so-called Allard Pierson Live zone the public and the scholars will interact.
  3. Exploitation
    This department will focus on development and funding, the exploitation of our shops and museum café, as well as bookings and hospitality.


Prof. Dr. Wim Hupperetz (1966) is Director of the Allard Pierson Museum and the Special Collections UvA since 2017. He studied Ancient History and Provincial Roman Archaeology. Hupperetz is Professor at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, focusing on objects and collections as a cultural and historical source.

Dr. Marike van Roon (1963) is Head Curator of the Special Collections UvA and the Allard Pierson Museum since 2017. She studied History of Art, with a focus on the Applied Arts. In 2010 she received her PhD with a thesis on church textiles in the Netherlands between 1830 and 1965.


Rolf ter Sluis & Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Museum & Faculty of Arts, Groningen University, Netherlands

There are different paths that can be taken to encourage students to make use of objects and collections. Within the university, different focal points may be of interest to these students. Getting students involved in academic heritage and making them enthusiastic in working with historical objects is a mixture of push and pull factors.

The sky is the limit when it comes to approaches to collections. Some examples include the scientific historical context, the use and availability of materials, getting to know methods used in different scientific disciplines and using them to their own advantage, or presenting results of these outcomes. There are many ways, rather than a single fixed method, to offer these academic collections the students for teaching, research, or presentations.

Curators must follow their own prescribed paths of knowledge, method, and acting. They should (within certain limits) encourage students to teach, research, and present the results of their own inquiries, projects, and results.

In this presentation the speaker elaborates upon the necessity to give the floor to the students themselves and let them get acquainted with the knowledge, tangibility, and other possibilities of academic heritage. One example that will be discussed is the recently inaugurated Student Exhibition Lab, in which students with different disciplinary backgrounds create small displays around collection objects for a wide audience.


Rolf ter Sluis is Curator of Academic Heritage at the University of Groningen (RuG) and the medical collections of the University Hospital in Groningen (UMCG). Currently he is writing a history of transplantation medicine. He is also working on a dissertation about the last German Emperor (Wilhelm II).


Rachel Webster & David Gelsthorpe, Manchester Museum, UK

Staff at Manchester Museum have developed a series of new ways to use the collection to engage with university students. This is a key part of how the Museum meets the University of Manchester's social responsibility agenda. These projects have enhanced student learning and recruitment and developed the capacity to deliver activities in the Museum. Three projects will be outlined: Learning Through Objects (a series of object based biology tutorials with research techniques and public engagement with science as key learning outcomes); the Student Curator Scheme (a six week course developing employability skills through curatorial activities); and the Dinosaur Club (a student-led programme of curating and researching the Museum's Tenontosaurus dinosaur in preparation for an exhibition). Successful outcomes for participants have included access to real objects, contact with non-academics, and developing transferable skills. Benefits for the Museum have included widening access to collections, creating advocates for the Museum, and showcasing university teaching and research at public events. However, each of these projects has had its challenges, particularly in matching the needs of students and lecturers to the Museum goals and resources. Our activities have been refined following student feedback and informal staff evaluation, and this is ongoing.


Rachel Webster has been a curator at Manchester Museum since 2012. Responsible for care and use of the botanical collections, she has organised student teaching and engagement projects, public events, and museum outreach. Recently, she co-curated an exhibition about biodiversity conservation and habitat loss called 'Extinction or Survival?'.

A curator at Manchester Museum since 2006, David Gelsthorpe leads on exhibitions, teaching, public activities and citizen science, alongside making the collection widely used. David led the development of 'Object Lessons' (exhibiting scientific models and illustrations) and 'Nature's Library' (permanent gallery highlighting the richness and use of the natural science collections).


Giovanni Donadelli, Chiara Gallanti, Lorena Rocca & Mauro Varotto, Padua University, Italy

The teaching of geography took off permanently at the University of Padua in 1867, mainly as a response to the need of competent teachers in this branch of science. From then onwards, a substantial teaching collection emerged, followed by an equally important store of objects linked to the development of geographical research.

Today, stimulated by the upcoming Museum of Geography, professors and students demonstrate a renewed interest towards these collections, and object-based learning is being carried out. Beyond introductive lessons held in the Museum or the occasional use of items of the collection in the classroom as didactical support, these learning experiences also include thesis projects, workshops, and internships focused on the Museum's heritage. The aim of this contribution is to present this range of initiatives, focusing particularly on the recent experience "Geography Museum in a Box", during which the students on the Masters course in Primary Education Science of the University of Padua, working in small groups, took inspiration from items in the collection to create didactical museum exhibits "in a box", aimed at simplifying the teaching of some of the most arduous topics of geography.


Giovanni Donadelli (1985) is a museum professional in charge of the didactical service of the Museum of Geography of the University of Padua (Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World). His main research interests are geography, technology, and education. He is member of the Board of Italian association of Geography Teachers.

Chiara Gallanti (1974) is a PhD student in geography collaborating to the Museum of Geography of the University of Padua (Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World - DiSSGeA). Her main research interests are history of geography and geographic material culture.

Lorena Rocca (1966) is associate professor of Geography/Didactics of Geography at the University of Padua and researcher in Human Geography and Education. She also collaborates with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SuPSi). She is member of the Scientific Committee of the Museum of Geography at DiSSGeA.

Mauro Varotto (1970) is associate professor of Geography and Cultural Geography at the University of Padua. He is coordinator of the Scientific Committee of the Museum of Geography at the Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World. His research interests are mainly focused in human and cultural geography.


Gina Hammond, Andrew Simpson & Jane Thogersen, Macquarie University, Australia

This paper focuses on the initial stages of a pilot project which seeks to support and develop object-based learning within the university curriculum across Macquarie University. It is the first multi-site museum project to receive funding at this university, because of expected value anticipated by the removal of potential barriers between the learning/teaching community and university collections.

This project is made feasible by the potential convergence brought about by the implementation of a university-wide collection database, literary sources, archives, and appropriate technical advances. The initial task involved a qualitative review of units on campus (including unit guides, assessment tasks, online content, lecture, and tutorial topics) to create a shortlist, spanning five faculties. The aim is to achieve high-impact benefits from the integration of objects in the Australian History and Ancient Cultures museum collections. This process has informed the development of a focused short list.

While results are still unfolding, the development of collection-sharing pathways (utilising existing technologies) is informing the prioritisation of items for digitisation and sharing. Targeted workshops with short-listed units are being designed to assist with practical approaches and implementation strategies to ensure long-term sustainability. The research team are actively seeking discussions with other institutions involved in similar initiatives.


Dr Gina Hammond: Manager, Psychology Test Library Collection; PhD MusStudies; BA (Hons 1) Indigenous Studies. Research interests include: University collections as sites for interrogating and interpreting/re-interpreting cultural power and the transmission of meanings.

Dr Andrew Simpson: UMACj Editor; Board Member, Museum of Ancient Cultures; PhD Palaeontology; Lecturer, Museum Studies AHIS; Former Director, MusStudies MQU. Research interests include: the history, role and functions of museums in society – in particular university museums, museum education, natural history, and the public understanding of science

Jane Thogersen: Manager, Australia History Museum; BAHIS (Hons); MA MusStudies. Research interests include: museum education, outreach design (including the development of a program focused on clients with Dementia) and program delivery for primary and secondary school, and tertiary education object integration with learning, teaching, and research across several faculties on campus.


Josep Simon, Universidad del Rosario, Bogota, Colombia

In this presentation I will discuss an ongoing teaching and research project in the history of medicine developed in Bogotá, Colombia. The project has four integrated elements which are fundamental to its development but have also their own dynamics: a semestral introductory history of medicine course, a digital humanities platform (IRRHACTM), an emerging national network of health collections and museums (RCPS), and an occasional museum and heritage course focused on science, technology and medicine. The city of Bogota has a quantitatively and qualitatively significant medical heritage that is still largely unknown in the local, national and international context, and a solid tradition in the history of medicine, though it is in need of renovation. Though these are relevant assets for this project, they are also subject to the epistemological and political pressures of medical education and the commercialization of higher education in Colombia. In this presentation, I will provide a big picture of this initiative and provide some illustrative examples to discuss the current state of a project whose horizon is to transform medical history education through the use of museum objects and the conceptualization of the city as a medical history site museum.


Josep Simon is Associate Professor in History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Bogotá, Colombia. He was trained in research with material culture and museums of science, technology and medicine at València and Oxford. He has worked in this field in Spain, UK, France, USA, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil.

POSTER SESSION 1 Introduction




Maciej Kluza & Iwona Maciejowska, Jagiellonian University Museum, Krakow, Poland

In the last years, the growing recognition of the importance of social interaction and social participation in museums and science centers could be observed. In the international project IRRESISTIBLE, fostering the involvement of students and the public in the process of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is supported by cooperation between schools and museums (http://www.irresistible-project.eu/). One of the most important results of the project were students' curated interactive exhibitions. In every participating country exhibition referred to different cutting-edge scientific topics. In Poland, such interactive exhibitions related to Nanotechnology were prepared. All exhibits were designed and built by 30 groups of 7th-12th grade school students. In this paper the processes of students' IBSE and exhibition building, as well as examples of exhibits, will be shown and discussed.


Maciej Kluza, PhD, curator of the collection of historical scientific instruments at Jagiellonian University Museum, is the author of several interactive exhibitions dealing with physics, mathematics, and biology. Research fields include: history of physics, history of scientific instrument production in Poland, history of Science and Technology Museums in Poland.

Iwona Maciejowska, PhD, is the Head of the Center of Teaching Excellence at Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) and the Chair of the Division of Chemical Education. Research fields include: science education, university education, CPD.


Louise Karlskov Skyggebjerg, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

A new curriculum for high school education in Denmark formed the outset for a closer look into our collaboration with students at technical high schools at the History of Technology Division DTU (part of the Technical University of Denmark). At the beginning of 2018, we used insights from rhetoric and debates about science communication to inform an analysis of how we can improve our engagement with high school students. How can we be (more) relevant? What are the potentials for communicating our research? What are the potentials for using our collection, when visiting is often off limits because of practical issues? How relevant are concepts like co-curation and co-creation in a relationship characterised by distance, gate keepers and power imbalance? The analysis will later inform a new strategy regarding our collaboration with high school students.

The presentation will focus on how the concept of relevance and concepts from rhetoric such as fitting response, audience, adherence, and topoi sharpened our focus not only on the needs of both the students/teachers, but also our own as university-based professional historians of technology and 'content providers'. Relevance is a complex matter and should at least be thought of as a two-sided coin.


Louise Karlskov Skyggebjerg has a Ph.D. in history and is specialised in the history of technology, industry, and engineering with a special emphasis on the history of everyday objects and their 'doing'. Among her interests is museology, and she has curated several exhibitions about subjects such as writing tools, infrastructure, and flight.


Jacqueline Chambers, University of British Columbia, Canada

Changing economic, social, and political landscapes have shifted the role of university museums. From cabinets of curiosities, to institutional domains exclusive to the academy, they are increasingly shared places of research, teaching, and learning for a broader public. The Beaty Biodiversity Museum (BBM), home to the University of British Columbia's (UBC) biological research specimens, has embraced a mission to inspire an understanding of biodiversity, its origins and importance to humans, through collections-based research, education, and community outreach.

This mission carries with it the challenge of supporting academic interests whilst providing meaningful community outreach. A diverse body of university students working with the museum bridge these spheres, providing cultural depth and scientific context to community outreach. In their interactions with museum visitors, students engage the public through their studies and research, providing a unique account of the museum's collections. Through this exchange, the museum becomes a shared place of teaching and learning for students and the broader public. This poster highlights two outreach projects that have allowed the BBM to reach beyond the academy through student volunteer and employment opportunities, highlighting that these students provide a novel opportunity to strengthen connections between university museums, research collections, and the general public.


Jacqueline Chambers is Education & Outreach Manager, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, University of British Columbia. She has worked in museums and botanical gardens around the world. Her research interests focus on the role of natural history collections in learning. She holds an MSc Ethnobotany (Kent) and a Masters of Museum Education (UBC).


Barbara Schmidt-Dounas, Natalia Kazakidi & Athanasia Kyriakou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

In the current context of the European recession, "cultural economy" is a key issue in addressing European development policies. This also holds true for countries that are affected by economic crisis, such as Greece. While cultural education in Greek university museums suffer from serious under-funding, formal and non-formal educational activities have increased over time. This phenomenon is evident in the case of the Museum of Casts of the Department of History and Archeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The Museum of Casts is 90 years old and hosts an important collection of about 700 casts of ancient sculptures, the originals of which date from Minoan to Byzantine times. In addition, the archives of the Museum include more than 7000 photographs of sculptures. Despite the dramatic decrease in its budget during the past decade, the Museum as an academic institution that organises non-formal educational and other cultural programmes has expanded its range of effectiveness by cooperating with numerous public institutions (primary, secondary, and higher educational institutions). As a result, external (both European and private) sources of funding have complemented the paltry budget.


Natalia Kazakidi is part of the Laboratory Teaching Staff (adjunct lecturer) AUTH, and Museum Curator AUTH. Her research interests include: Greek and Roman sculpture, architecture, and topography; organising collections, periodic exhibitions, archives, writing museum catalogues; organising and implementing educational programmes.

Theodosia Stefanidou-Tiveriou is Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology and Past Director of the Museum of Casts AUTH. Her research interests include: Greek and Roman sculpture, architecture, town planning and topography; re-organizing the display of the museum's collections, periodic exhibitions, academic lectures and colloquia, organising the archives, and writing museum catalogues.

Barbara Schmidt-Dounas is Professor of Classical Archaeology and Director of the Museum of Casts AUTH. Her research interests include: Greek sculpture, architecture and topography; organizing periodic exhibitions and research programmes.

Athanasia Kyriakou is part of the Laboratory Teaching Staff (adjunct lecturer) AUTH and Museum Curator AUTH. Her research interests include: pottery, jewelry, weaponry, funerary archaeology, identity, landscape, and biography; AUTH Excavations at Vergina; organising collections, periodic exhibitions; organising and implementing educational programmes.


María Dolores Ruiz de Lacanal Ruiz-Mateos, Seville University, Spain

The University of Seville presented a poster at the Universeum conference held in Athens in 2015 with different types of heritage (academic heritage in its broadest sense, including university collections, museums, archives, libraries, and university buildings of historical, artistic and scientific significance).

Subsequently, for the meeting held in Amsterdam in 2016 we presented the connnections established between the different collections. After working together we co-authored a book about the collections and museums of the University of Seville. At the conference held at the University of Belgrade in 2017, we presented a poster about The Fine Art School, its collections and heritage, and their functions. Thus, at Universeum, held at the University of Glasgow, we can show how we are evolving and have expanded our contacts.

During these years we have worked together, not only within the university campus, but also beyond, collaborating with other cultural heritage organisations, with other communities, and with society at large. We are not only interested in the conservation of our collections, but we know that our mission is to develop cultural experiences that link society with our University heritage. Some of these projects are particularly interesting and include coursework, final degree projects, doctoral theses, and work in research groups. We are prepared to present the methodology for these and evaluate it.


María Dolores Ruiz de Lacanal is professor University, Grade Conservation and Restoration Heritage at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Seville, and has coordinated the Meeting of Museums and Collections at the University of Seville, since 2014. She is a member Academia Santa Isabel de Hungría de Sevilla, and vice-president of Spanish Group of IIC. Institute International of Conservation IIC.


Penelope Theologi-Gouti & Evangelos Vitoratos, Patras University, Greece

The Science and Technology Museum of Patras University carries out a number of co-curation initiatives that bring the museum together with different outside groups to jointly produce a mutually valued outcome. Their key goal is to bring the perspective and voices of the three degrees of the educational community, as well as the cultural, arts, and scientific communities, into the museum using interaction practices.

One initiative invites school groups to interpret science using arts and to develop educational material through networks and competitions. In another, research groups, student groups, and university departments develop demonstration experiments, temporary exhibitions or educational programs, animating activities, writing communication material through internship, volunteering, or special projects. Other cultural, arts, and scientific groups are involved in developing additional activities.

In order to successfully implement co-curation, a participatory structure based on a widely adaptable model has been developed. Most activities have been successful because all parties have clear roles and expectations, with the museum having a leading role in respecting the interests and creativity of others. Despite the clear structure, sometimes co-curation faces obstacles due to misunderstanding of rules or hidden personal expectations. Regular discussions play a part in minimizing such situations.

Coexistence brings a unique mix of ideas to the museum that in turn gives new impetus to its activities, deepens its importance as a public resource, and strengthens it as a reliable forum of scientific literacy.


Penelope Theologi-Gouti is an architect and ethnologist at (DEA). She is responsible for exhibitions, educational programs and other activities of PU STM, Greece. She has served as Vice Chair/Secretary of ICOM Hellenic NC, Vice Chair/Secretary/Treasurer of UMAC (founding member), and Chair/Secretary of CIDOC Ethno Group. She has numerous publications in national/international, conferences and journals, including articles in Museum International, the ICOM Study Series, and OECD Journal.

Evangelos Vitoratos, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Physics at PU and Director of STM. He is interested in condensed matter physics, teaching physics, and the history and philosophy of science. He is member of Management Committee or Advisory Board in European networks concerning Physics Education in Europe: EUPEN, "Tuning" educational structures in Europe project, STEPS, HOPE, etc. List of publications at: Department of Physics, University of Patras, Scopus or ISI Web of Knowledge.


James Sumner, Jemma Houghton & Francesca Elliott, Manchester University, UK

The University of Manchester's taught Master's degrees include programmes in three fields – science communication and public engagement, history of science, technology and medicine, and medical humanities – working in close co-ordination, sharing teaching and student opportunities. The most striking outcome of efforts to develop commonalities between the three fields has been increasing focus on material culture, object studies, and use of local collections in several ways: as teaching aids, primary sources for student research, and public engagement resources.

This has led to growing interaction with several collections whose institutional contexts are interestingly varied: they include the Manchester Museum, based within the University and the inheritor of its natural history research collections; the Museum of Medicine and Health, a curated collection with no permanent public displays, but offering rich opportunities for event-based engagement; and the Museum of Science and Industry, now institutionally separate from the University, but developed partly from its precursors' technical education and commemorative efforts.

In this presentation, a member of staff and two recent graduates will compare their experiences of teaching, learning, research, and public engagement, and discuss the opportunities arising as these collections-based activities become routinized on the programmes and inspire new responses from the next generation of students.


Dr James Sumner is Senior Lecturer in the History of Technology, and Programme Director for the taught Master's in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (HSTM) at Manchester. His research covers the history of applied science, technical education, and information cultures, and he is involved in several public engagement initiatives.

Jemma Houghton is a graduate of the HSTM Master's programme, now working towards a PhD on medicinal plants in twentieth-century pharmacy. Her Master's dissertation drew on her experience with the materia medica collection of the Manchester Museum and she has long-term volunteering experience with the Museum's collections, particularly the Herbarium.

Francesca Elliott is a graduate of the Master's in Science Communication, now working towards a PhD on model and showpiece powered machinery at the Museum of Science and Industry and its precursors. Her Master's research included a visitor evaluation study on attitudes to models and specimens at the Manchester Museum.


Marek Bukowski, Gdansk University, Poland

The Museum of the Medical University of Gdansk (MUG) conducts a special museological lesson for students of MUG and of other Universities, as well as for pupils from high schools. The main subjects are: the history of MUG and general history from a history of science perspective. An integral part of each lesson is discussion with students. Through numerous lessons we made some significant observations. 1. teaching with objects is more interesting. 2. pupils and students are mainly not aware of history of science. 3. students of MUG are so focused on the main subjects of their degrees and are dazed by the general atmosphere of studying, that in majority they are losing their interest in history of science and thus the opportunity to acquire a more broad understanding of medicine.

This, in our opinion, is particularly worrying and problematic. Thus, after careful consideration, we modified our lessons with the intention of restoring the confidence of students and to support them during their time of study. Museums can use objects as a way in which to talk about medicine and the profession more broadly. In this manner, university museums turn from their "clear" functions of collection and exhibition focused organisations, to act more as multi-activity cultural centres. We also observed that students are more willing to have initially informal meetings followed by students' clubs or other defined forms of meetings.


Marek Bukowski is MD, PhD, pediatric surgeon, and supervisor of the Museum of MUG, Poland. He is also vice-chairman of Polish University Museums Association. His main fields of interests are the history of pediatric surgery and history of science.



Katariina Pehkonen, Helsinki University, Finland

The agricultural collection of the University of Helsinki was infested with mold in 2015. The disaster was due water damage in the Museum of Agriculture, closed to the public since 2012. To save the objects the Helsinki University Museum started a huge project in collaboration with a conservator, a hired team of museum professionals, insurance and construction companies and other museums.

Because some objects were originally collected for teaching, part of the collection was saved in Helsinki University Museum according to its collection policy. Sarka - The Finnish Museum of Agriculture offered a home for another part. In accordance with TAKO, a Finnish project for coordinating collaboration in matters related to acquisitions, documentation and collections, some objects were also transferred to Lusto - The Finnish Forest Museum.

A disaster isn't always the end of the world but instead can be a new possibility. Sarka is building a new exhibition hall for transferred objects, due to open in 2018. The experience of working safely in a moldy environment and the techniques used to clean objects made of different materials have been sought-after subjects for lectures. Thanks to this collaboration the cultural heritage value of the collection is now secured for generations to come.


Katariina Pehkonen worked as a coordinator of the hired team of museum professionals during the conservation project in 2016. Now she works as a curator in the Helsinki University Museum. Research interests: history of Finland, 19th century history.


Eugenio Bertozzi, University Museum Network, Bologna University, Italy

Despite there being possible sources of confusion, partnerships, co-creation and co-curation will be here discussed in relation to their ordering potential, as strategic assets when parts of the university heritage slip into chaos.

The case-study stems from the decision of the University of Bologna to dismiss its biggest depot for rationalising expenditures. Initially meant as storage for the new acquisitions of the museum of physics, with a size of more than 2.000 square meters and a peripheral location, the depot quickly grew into a common warehouse for things dismissed by the whole University; along the decades, the progressive loss of information and control over the undifferentiated multitude stored therein turned it into an inextricable puzzle. In 2017, the University Museum Network, the office coordinating University Museums and Collections, took charge of solving the puzzle by extracting all the objects with a museological interest.

The presentation reflects on the moment when "safeguarding heritage" means primarily "creating order" and "developing visions" by mobilising a network of actors and connoisseurship inside and outside the University. Co-curations for enhancing existing collections with the new identified objects, partnerships for figuring out new displays outside the University, and experts consulting for evaluation will be offered as specific examples.


Eugenio Bertozzi is an adjunct professor for the history of physics and scientific collaborator of the University Museum Network of the University of Bologna. From 2015 to 2017 I have been Humboldt Research Fellow at the Europa-Universität in Flensburg and Scholar in Residence at the Research Institute of the Deutsches Museum in Munich.


Eleni Tziamourani, Maria Stefanidou & Giorgos Panagiaris, Athens University of Applied Sciences & National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

In museum and archives collections, fungi are a critical factor of biodeterioration. Infections are mostly airborne. Poor ventilation and non-homogeneous temperature can produce water condensation points and local micro-climates. These circumstances favour some fungal species' activity in specific museum areas. Typical fungal infections in museums, colonizing paper made documents, are caused by species of slow-growing Ascomycetes as well as mitosporic xerophilic fungi of the genera Aspergillus, Paecilomyces, Chrysosporium, Penicillium and Cladosporium.

In this study, a non-invasive method of biodeterioration diagnosis was applied to selected paper artefacts using contact plate sampling. The study was implemented in the exhibits of the Criminology Museum at National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, under the interscientific collaboration of the Museum and the Department Conservation of Antiquities & Works of Art (T.E.I. of Athens). Two fungal species belonging to different genera were isolated from the in-case environment. Aspergillus niger appeared to be the most dominant fungus with maximum number of colonies on SDA medium. Teaching staff, undergraduate students, and postgraduate students have been involved in the project, which furthered both the students' academic education and the museum's collection care.


Eleni Tziamourani holds a BSc in Natural Sciences (Chemistry, Biology, and Physics) from Hellenic Open University (HOU) and an MSc in Analytical Chemistry and Nanotechnology from University of Patras, Greece. Her research interests include the analysis of organic materials in works of art with chromatographic techniques.

Maria Stefanidou is Professor of Toxicology in the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, School of Medicine, University of Athens, Greece. She is Director of the Athens Criminology Museum, Vice President of the Hellenic Society of Toxicology, and President of the Scientific Committee on Narcotics of the Hellenic Ministry of Health.

Georgios Panagiaris is a biologist, Doctor of Biological Sciences, and a professor at the Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art, TEI of Athens. He is Director of the Inter-institutional Postgraduate Course "Museum Studies". He is the principal author in a great number of scientific papers, and has coordinated many Greek and International research projects.


Lea Leppik, Tartu University Museum, Estonia

Research into our University's history is a very important part of curating our collections as it provides us with important background information. The first histories of the University of Tartu have been written by only one professor (published in 1827, 1852, and 1902). In the 20th century, the concept changed and it was again for the 350th jubilee of the University in 1982 that it was decided to compile a profound history of the university in three volumes as a collective piece of work.

As preparation for this big history, a series of publications started in 1975 titled "Questions of the University of Tartu history". The following year, the University of Tartu Museum was created. The Museum organised regular conferences and later published the presentations. In 42 years the museum has published 46 volumes (with a total of 9195 pages), with approximately 400 authors who have written 808 papers. This is a very important contribution to the history of the University and the history of Estonia. As the University does not have a special professorship for university history or the history of science, this series has played an important role as the promoter and organiser of research in university history up until today.


Lea Leppik is the Research Director of the University of Tartu Museum. Her main research interests are university history, scientific history, and biographies of scientists. She has been the Series Editor of "Questions of the University of Tartu history" ("Tartu Ülikooli ajaloo küsimusi") since 2004.


Jelena Jovanović Simić & Milan Milisavljević, Belgrade University, Serbia

The collections of the Belgrade University Faculty of Medicine, as well as many other European university collections, have not been documented up to the present day. During WWII some of them were completely or partially destroyed. In the post-war decades many of the surviving collections were considered old-fashioned, impractical, and ultimately unnecessary. Fortunately, some of them were not physically removed but stored in a warehouse. In the last decades, their cultural and historical significance has been recognized.

The collections were returned with two key activities determining their present existence:

  1. Procurement and perennial use in teaching
  2. Recognition of their value and (re)organization within the museum
  3. Legal establishment as cultural heritage in order to secure long-term preservation and communication.

Using the example of cooperation between the Institute of Anatomy and the Museum of Science and Technology, the parent institution for the protection of the scientific and technical heritage of the Republic of Serbia, we present the activities that are being carried out with that goal. The expected outcomes are: better connectivity of the Faculty of Medicine with the community; promotion of the Faculty, medical profession, and scientific work; improvement of teaching in the fields of anatomy and history of medicine; fostering a culture of remembrance and creating a new place on the cultural map of the city.


Jelena Jovanović Simić, MD, PhD, is a curator and researcher in the fields of medical museology, protection of cultural heritage, and history of medicine. She is the curator of two permanent and six thematic exhibitions at the Museum of Science and Technology.

Milan Milisavljević, MD, PhD, Professor of Anatomy, connected to the Museum of Human Anatomy at the Institute of Anatomy. He coordinates the restoration of the oldest part of collections, as well as organizes the improvement of different kinds of teaching collections.

Thursday 14 June 2018

Session 2A Co-curating Academic Collections Within and Beyond the Campus



Jozie Kettle & Beth McDougall, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University, UK

The last five years have seen a transformation in how Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) engages with its publics. We've worked together with our audiences to reflect on, challenge and reshape how the Museum 'engages' and constructs identity. Through ongoing consultation, we've identified a need to adapt how we collaborate and shape identities within the Museum: resultantly, we've altered our public engagement practices to create a change. Through partnership working with diverse groups, the public engagement team have co-created a flexible methodology supporting and empowering co-producers to be real decision makers within the Museum, taking ownership of our spaces and defining for themselves the shape of the partnerships they want to build with PRM, and to direct the resulting outputs. This work has been rewarding but challenging. We've faced, and still face, obstacles and we'll discuss our experiences and invite the audience to reflect with us. Most rewardingly we've found that challenging ourselves with the guidance of communities has made us braver, more reflexive and as feedback has shown, more relevant to an increasingly diverse range of stakeholders. We'll discuss co-creative case studies including our ongoing work with LGBTQ+ activists, refugees and asylum seekers, and young people.


Jozie Kettle has a background in anthropology and museum ethnography and has worked at Pitt Rivers Museum since 2013, currently leading on Public Engagement with Research. She is also a Trustee for the inclusive youth empowerment charity, Young Women's Music Project.

Beth McDougall has worked at Pitt Rivers Museum since 2016 and currently leads on family and community programming. She has previously worked at the V&A, Letchworth Civic Trust and has a background in Museum Studies.


Teresa Murjas & Kate Arnold-Foster, Reading University, UK

This jointly delivered paper will highlight examples of innovative collections-based research practice, fostered through initiatives designed to develop increased academic engagement with the University collections.

In 2013, Teresa became one of the first supervisors of a 'practice as research' PhD supported by the University's Collections-Based Research programme. Drawing on her own research expertise in theatre and filmmaking this led to opportunities to pioneer new practice-led methodologies and approaches to impact and engagement for collections as well as research.

The collaboration between researcher and collections professionals helped to identify and exploit strategies for enabling a wider audience to engage more effectively with archives, resulting in two mixed-media projects, The First World War in Biscuits and War Child. The latter web-based resource is a digital 'mixed-media book' incorporating audio-material, video-footage, photography, and inter-layered textual narrative. (www.war-child-archive.com)

In collaborating on both projects, Teresa has developed inter-disciplinary, dialogic methodologies; from this, we suggest that working-models for democratizing heritage and for generating new personal, curatorial and institutional intersections might be extrapolated. Kate will consider how MERL & Special Collections actively engages collaborative creative projects. Teresa will discuss her practice-as-research process and the potential application of working models for future creative collaborations and impact.


Dr Teresa Murjas is an Associate Professor in Theatre and Performance, University of Reading. She uses archival materials, artefacts and oral testimony as part of her creative practice and collaborates with museums and galleries, and theatre and film practitioners, in order to make and publicly show her mixed-media projects.

Kate Arnold-Forster has worked in the museums, archives and libraries sector as a volunteer, curator, consultant and director. She is responsible for the University of Reading's museums and special collections, where she has led major capital re-development and programmes to promote academic and wider community engagement with collections.


Maria Economou, Malcolm Chapman & Lizzie O'Neill, The Hunterian, Glasgow University, UK

The Hunterian designed its first digital strategy, approved by its Strategic Development Board in January 2018, as a result of collaboration between different teams and consultation within and beyond the University of Glasgow. Our strategy is a tool to help us identify different digital technologies to support our strategic aims and ambitions, including the development of the collections and engaging audiences through building and sharing knowledge.

In this process, one of our objectives was to strengthen co-curation and co-creation, initially by collaborating more closely with the Library and Collections Services and related academic departments and by integrating relevant initiatives in teaching at different levels, but also by extending and strengthening collaborations with organisations and communities beyond the campus.

As digital has drastically changed the way we work, underpinning all our activities, some cultural organisations are now questioning whether they still need a digital strategy. The paper will discuss how we designed our strategic document to guide our work and prepare a platform for the future, seeing it as a living document and a dynamic process to support our internal conversations and external consultations. We will also examine some parameters that organisations thinking how digital can best support their work should consider.


Maria Economou (DPhil, Oxon) is Senior Lecturer in Museum Studies at the University of Glasgow and Curator responsible for digital initiatives at The Hunterian. She has worked previously at the universities of Manchester, UK and of the Aegean, Greece, and at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.

Malcolm Chapman is Head of Collections Management at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow since 2011. He was previously Head of Collections Development and Registrar at The Manchester Museum (University of Manchester) and worked at the Collections Data Management Section at the British Museum.

Lizzie O'Neill is Digital Collections Manager at The Hunterian Museum with responsibility for the development of the Collections Management System and integration of this into teaching and knowledge sharing. She worked previously in local authority museum services in Scotland.


Emily Hick, Edinburgh University, UK

The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) at the University of Edinburgh, is developing innovative ways to carry out conservation work and engage with the student population. This paper will outline a two-day crowdsourcing event, the first of its kind ever held at the CRC, in which 30 students aimed to rehouse section II of the Laing manuscripts – the University's most important written collection.

Laing's collection of charters and other papers is of national importance. It is an essential resource for the 18th century, however, it was in poor condition due to its current housing in unsuitable upright boxes and folders. Rehousing this collection was necessary to improve the condition of the collection and aid access to it.

The benefits of crowdsourcing this work are twofold. Firstly, it drastically reduces the amount of time needed to rehouse the collection. Secondly, we can significantly increase the number of people who can gain quality conservation experience at the CRC.

The presentation will describe the event, provide an evaluation of it, and discuss the challenges faced and ethical points considered. It will also give useful tips and advice for other institutions who are considering holding a similar event. It is hoped that this paper will spark discussion and information sharing about how to help non-conservators engage with conservation treatment in a meaningful way whilst still meeting the need for an ethical approach.


Emily Hick is the Special Collections Conservator at the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh. After completing an undergraduate degree in History of Art at the University of Glasgow, she undertook an MA degree in Conservation of Fine Art, specialising in works of art on paper at Northumbria University.

Session 2B Co-curating Academic Collections Within and Beyond the Campus: round table


Session 2B Subtheme A. Co-curating with Organisations


Irini Savvani, Elena Kitta, Evangelos Papoulias & Sotiria-Alexandra Sakellariou, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

On the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the Athens University History Museum (AUHM) organized the exhibition “The Banner of the University of Athens: Contemporary Visual Approaches”. For this purpose, the Museum invited ten contemporary artists to create artworks and give their own interpretation on the banner of the Athens University (1887) made by N. Gyzis (1842-1901), the 19th century Greek pioneer of the Jugendstil art movement.

The exhibition process involved the coordination of different institutions (Centre for Culture of the Bank of Greece, National Gallery, Library of Hellenic Parliament, etc.), the collaboration with artists and academics, and the curation of the new artworks in order to offer a platform where the dialogue between exhibitions of history of 19th century and contemporary art can occur.

The greater challenge for the AUHM was the expectation of the contemporary artworks made especially for the exhibition and the new interpretations that were given to the artistic banner. One of our main gains, among others, was the new audiences that attended the exhibition and became acquainted with the museum and its permanent collections.

This paper examines new practices and new collaborations adopted by our museum, that have proven to be beneficial for museums in general, by providing new communication bridges with their existing and new audiences.


Irini Savvani, Art historian, Curator, MA Art History, BA Art History, Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Curator of the Greek Representation at the 26th Biennial of Sao Paolo (2004). Curator of the exhibition “The Banner of the University of Athens: Contemporary Visual Approaches”. Research interests include: museum as a medium, museum communication, university museums, and contemporary art.

Elena Kitta, Conservator of Works of Art with an MA in Museum Studies, Athens University History Museum. Research interests include: preventive conservation, collection management, collections in historic buildings, museum's building history, and creation of an oral history archive of the building's previous tenants.

Evangelos Papoulias, PhD in Archaeology, expert in Heritage Management, and Administrator of the Department of Museums and Historical Archive of the University of Athens.


Felix Sattler & Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw, Humboldt University-Berlin, Germany & University of Bristol, UK

In this paper, we discuss the potential and arising issues of interdisciplinary co-curation, university collection re-interpretation, as well as the exchanges between partner institutions. To achieve this, we take as a case study our interdisciplinary international project entitled "Replica Knowledge: An Archaeology of the Multiple Past". This was inspired by the collection of Aegean Bronze Age object replicas in the Classical Archaeological Collection of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Germany. The project team identified networks of knowledge between University Museums (Berlin, Oxford, Cambridge, Heidelberg) and other museums/cultural institutions (Athens, Herakleion, Saint Germaine en Laye/Paris, Karlsruhe). We discovered the relevance of such academic collections for the history of archaeology, European political history, identity, and industrial history, as well as the interdependence of academic collections with visual art, film, and theatre. This led to mapping the collections, organising an international conference (February 2017), and realising a large-scale exhibition at the Tieranatomisches Theatre (Exhibition Research Space at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

After discussing these processes of co-curation, we advocate the usefulness of combining interdisciplinary approaches, both within and beyond the university, institutional collaborations, and sensitivity to political and epistemological issues.


Felix Sattler is Curator of the Tieranatomisches Theatre and Priority Research Area Leader of Collecting & Exhibiting at the Cluster of Excellence. Since 2002, he has been developing exhibitions and aesthetic practices about natural and cultural objects in collections.

Dr. Anna Simandiraki-Grimshaw, archaeologist, art historian and educator, is Co-Curator of "Replica Knowledge" and was a Research Fellow at the HU Berlin, Germany (2016–2017). She is currently a Lecturer in Greek Archaeology and History at Cardiff University and a Senior Teaching Fellow at Bristol University, UK.


Helena Britt & Susannah Waters, Glasgow School of Art, UK

Textiles and fashion related studies have been part of the educational activities at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) since its establishment in 1845, as a branch of the Government School of Design. In 2017, GSA celebrated the 70th anniversary of its student-led Fashion Show, introduced in 1947 as an event during Charities Week. Today, this annual event presents undergraduate fashion and textile students' designs for fundraising purposes. This presentation centers on a collaborative project between GSA's Department of Fashion and Textiles, Archives and Collections, and Alumni Relations, which resulted in a small-scale exhibition and alumni event. The project aimed to identify Fashion Show related material held by GSA Archives and Collections; locate and accession other relevant artefacts and insights from GSA alumni; construct a history of the event; examine the Fashion Show as pedagogical approach; establish areas for further investigation from studying this local event. The presentation will focus on the project methodology, which is potentially transferable to other creative arts contexts. Methods include historical and archival enquiry, documentary and visual analysis, and participant engagement towards exhibition curation. The project findings, lessons learnt from working together on the project, and areas for further investigation will be discussed.


Dr Helena Britt is a lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. Research encompass aspects of contemporary and historical textile design, including investigation surrounding creative practitioner utilisation of archive resources; the impact of digital technologies on printed textile design; textiles pedagogy; linkages between research, practice, scholarship and teaching; practice-based research methodologies.

Susannah Waters, Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections Manager, has worked on exhibitions, seminars and workshops relating to the School's historical collections including the AHRC-funded Glasgow Miracle Project. Research interests include the use of archives by creative practitioners and the role of historical resources in higher education.


Karsten Heck, Göttingen University, Germany

Göttingen University has recently launched its collections web portal providing public access to more than 20,000 academic heritage objects from the arts and humanities to medicine and natural history. Rich curated metadata and reproductions unlock a potential for research, teaching, and outreach, embedded within the collections since the enlightenment days of the university's foundation. The key to achieving this strategic goal has been the collaboration between interlinked levels on campus and beyond coordinated at the Centre for Collections Management. Software development and data conversion, both specific to the collections' needs, is overseen by a steering group and carried out in teams from the State- and University Library (SUB), the Zentrale Kustodie and the Common Library Network (GBV), in collaboration with external software providers. Provided in this way with a central collections database and web publication viewer, data curation lies in the hands of the collections curators and faculty who collaborate in on-campus and external research projects. The Zentrale Kustodie provided funding for photographers and student assistants, specifically training and supporting them in object handling, cataloguing and digitisation techniques. At the same time, a set of official guidelines for open access publication was worked out in close dialogue with the university's presidential board and governance. The talk will structurally, but briefly, unfold this process with a focus on community building and pointing out facilitators as well as bottlenecks.


Karsten Heck is Collections Manager and Data Officer at Göttingen University's Centre for Collections Development (Zentrale Kustodie). Trained as art historian and information scientist (Humboldt University Berlin) he specialized in architectural drawings and scientific imagery, especially diagrams as epistemological tools. Digitization and IT-services for the humanities are a continuous line in his activities.

Session 2B Subtheme B. Co-curating with Individuals and Communities


Liselotte Neervoort, Vrije University, Amsterdam, Netherlands

'What is your favourite object?'

This question was posed to two groups of people: seven experts who work with heritage collections at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and seven non-experts ('guest-curators') randomly selected from a pool of interested volunteers at the university. The participants were invited to select their favourite object from the heritage collections, with the experts providing guidance for the guest-curators. The fourteen selected objects were then displayed in an advent-calendar style exhibition: each week two objects were revealed, and the expert curator provided a short class on their chosen object. Their stories were published online and displayed in the exhibition, accompanied by a picture of the guest-curator. The project involved experts, employees, and students from ten different departments, with subjects ranging from climate change and university history to the "klapschaats" and WWII escape maps.

The enthusiasm of the guest-curators, combined with an active social media campaign and weekly events, created a lively exhibition with a small budget (the monetary costs totalled less than 50 euros). There were many return visitors, and the advent-style of presenting the objects created an intimate and enticing exhibition. This concept could easily become a yearly event.


Liselotte Neervoort is Curator of Academic Heritage at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and was project leader for the invention of potential heritage collections at the VU. Previous work includes the Estate Verhildersum museum in Leens, Groningen, The Netherlands. Neervoort graduated with a master's in Modern History, with a specialization in the presentation of heritage, from University of Groningen.


Silke Ackermann, History of Science Museum, Oxford University, UK

Between them, Oxford University's Museum of the History of Science (MHS) and Pitt Rivers Museum hold unique collections of scientific instruments and textiles from the Islamic World. Their rich history has been documented, but what is completely missing is the narrative of those communities whose own heritage these objects represent.

Multaka Revisited is a fresh start to change the way we display, interpret, and curate these collections. Funded by a major grant it will create inclusive volunteering experiences for people from refugee and local communities to improve confidence, support community integration, and enhance the collections by developing multi-layered interpretation. Forced migrants, other volunteers, and museum staff will work alongside each other in order to develop the role of community curators and guides, to learn from their different perspectives, and to share their skills, knowledge, and experiences.

This paper will discuss the pertinence of the project in the wider strategy of MHS.


Dr Silke Ackermann is the Director of the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford and the first female director in any of the Oxford University museums since their founding in 1683. With her team she is currently working on Vision 2024, an ambitious strategy for the Museum's 100th centenary.


Karen Thomas & Sarah Plumb, Cambridge University & Leicester University, UK

Communities in North Cambridge, one of the most disadvantaged areas of the city, are among the most infrequent visitors to the University of Cambridge Museums. Addressing this, a co-curated programme, 'Open House', was established in 2015. Lead by Kettle's Yard, the University's modern art gallery, 'Open House' welcomes contemporary socially-engaged artists to co-create new work with residents in North Cambridge. The artwork is inspired by the local area, its residents, and the collections of the University of Cambridge Museums. Artists are selected by and work in consultation with a Community Panel to develop a programme of activity engaging the wider community and creating a new artwork. The first residency in 2015 was the research subject of Dr. Sarah Plumb of the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. Karen Thomas, Community Officer at Kettle's Yard, introduces 'Open House', its target groups, and how community members participate in the co-curation of the programme and the co-creation of the artwork. Dr. Sarah Plumb will introduce the Taking Bearings toolkit, used at Community Panel meetings for discussion, and the application of Janet Marstine's concept of Shared Guardianship in anthropological collections to a contemporary art context through 'Open House'.


Karen Thomas joined Kettle's Yard and University of Cambridge Museums as Community Officer in April 2013. She develops and delivers community engagement activity with a focus on working with communities in North Cambridge, and manages the Open House project.

Sarah Plumb is a researcher and critical friend to Open House. Her research explores the mediating roles of galleries and the ethics of collaborative and socially engaged practice, with a particular focus on community participants' experiences. Sarah previously worked as a gallery educator specialising in working with marginalised groups and individuals.

Session 2B Subtheme C. Co-curating Medical and Scientific Collections


Nicky Reeves, Hunterian, Glasgow University, UK

The Science Showcase at The Hunterian is a small gallery space for engaging with current research in the sciences at the University of Glasgow which has since 2014 staged a series of modest object-led exhibitions generated through a collaborative exploration of University research groups' lab, field and office practices. Putting things on show has been a prompt for considering how and if to collect the contemporary, as per The Hunterian's commitment to collect material associated with research and teaching in the sciences at the University. Candidate (and sometimes unexpected) objects for accessioning have often only arisen through this process, and time spent with researchers in their workplace has constructively revealed techniques and forms of knowledge not captured by the merely material: the tacit and the embodied, for instance. Finding partners who wish to collaborate and not just disseminate or do science outreach takes time and tact; co-curators also need to know from the outset what commitments will be expected of them. Collaborations can profitably develop in unanticipated exhibitionary directions, but there remains a duty of care on the part of the museum to predict and communicate to scientists what might happen when we make an exhibition with/of them.


Nicky Reeves, since 2014 Curator of Scientific and Medical History Collections at The Hunterian, has curatorial responsibility for a large number of 19th and 20th century instruments stored in a variety of glamorous North Glasgow locations. He has published on 18th-century astronomy and more recently on making museum collections practices figuratively and literally transparent. He convenes a course entitled Curating the Sciences within Glasgow's Museum Studies MSc.


Daniël Ermens, Antwerp University, Netherlands

The academic heritage at the University of Antwerp does not only contain objects used for research and education at the university through the years, but also scientific instruments that have been donated. Although they do not stem from an academic background these instruments provide much information about the research and knowledge centre Antwerp has been since the nineteenth century. When in 2017 the (Agfa-)Gevaert archives in Mortsel (near Antwerp) were disbanded, the university helped, in close cooperation with a.o. the Antwerp Provincial Administration, Agfa and the Antwerp FotoMuseum, to find new destinations for the impressive collections of photographic equipment and research instruments, in order to preserve the massive amount of information on regional history this archive holds. The photographic equipment was donated to the FotoMuseum, while the scientific instruments and the historic computer equipment became part of the university's heritage collection. In this paper we would like to stress the importance of both cooperation on a regional scale with different partners and the welcoming of non-academic scientific objects into heritage collections to underscore the role of the university in regional history.


Dr. Daniël Ermens is a codicologist and bookbinder at the University of Antwerp, a Project Member at the Academic Heritage Project at the Antwerp University Library, and an assistant curator at the Ruusbroec Institute Library. He completed his PhD dissertation on Middle Dutch multi-text codices in 2015.


Jon Kyllingstad & Angeliki Lefkaditou, Oslo University, Norway

Museums are embracing their potential of becoming democratic arenas through processes of co-production and participation. The production of exhibits relating to complex socio-scientific issues such as scientific racism gives the opportunity to develop more nuanced understandings of the relationship between past and present research as well as on the interactions between science, culture, and politics. However, such exhibits require broad collaborations within museums, between different institutions, and groups both within and outside the academia. In this paper, we focus on two related exhibits on historical and contemporary research on human biological diversity at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology and at the Museum for the University and Science History (University of Oslo). We discuss how university collections and archives have brought together museum professionals, academics, designers and youths in diverse networks. These two examples will show that co-curation, or co-production, should be understood as a spectrum of activities that includes bringing together the diverse museum disciplines and external partners around museum objects. They are processes of looking inwards and outwards simultaneously. Such projects increase ownership, knowledge and confidence in handling socially relevant and sensitive topics, but also require institutional support for the open-endedness of several of their aspects.


J. R. Kyllingstad (PhD) is an associate professor and historian focusing on the history of science, knowledge and academic institutions, and especially on research and ideas on race, ethnicity, culture and the nation. He is currently co-curating the exhibitions FOLK and Professor Bonnevie's archive.

A. Lefkaditou (PhD) is a historian of science writing on the history of physical anthropology, race and racism. Her interests include the development of museum theory, methods and practices. She is the co-curator of the exhibit FOLK at The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology.


Anne Vaalund, Oslo University, Norway

In recent years, the Museum of University History at the University of Oslo has used most of its very limited resources to build collections from chaos in different departments in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

The original plan was to finish a pilot project in one of the departments, and expand with similar projects in other departments based on our experiences. When we suddenly lost our Collection Manager before this pilot was even on track, this nearly became the end of our initiative to save the material history of science at the faculty. The main reason we continued, was all the contacts we made within two of the departments. We felt that if we didn't deliver, all goodwill would evaporate. It was now or never. From that point we tried to be everywhere at once, and we made sure to learn from all our experiences.

I would like to share how our increasing hands-on knowledge of the different faculties made an interdisciplinary perspective natural, and to what extent our perspectives are being considered relevant when the future uses of the old faculty buildings are being sketched out. Our work in the basements has made it easier to participate with our historical perspectives in key processes connected to public outreach.


Anne Vaalund is responsible for establishing and documenting collections of scientific instruments and teaching objects. Since 2003 she has administered a photo database of university history. She holds a Masters in University History (2001) where she studied botany as a research field in the University of Oslo, 1880-1920.

POSTER SESSION 2 Introduction




Jenny Downes, Aberdeen University, UK

What was the project?

University of Aberdeen staff curated an exhibition about five local collectors who travelled to Latin America in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries as explorers, doctors, miners and missionaries. Co-curators were: Dr Jenny Downes and Melia Knecht (University Museums), Dr Patience Schell (School of Hispanic Studies), Dr Maggie Bolton (Department of Anthropology).

What were the aims?

  1. To tell a complex story about Britain's 'informal empire' of economic interests in Latin America, and Scotland and Aberdeen's role in this empire.
  2. To exhibit new research into the collections, including the letters and diaries of botanist Professor J. W. H. Trail and an archive of stereographic photographs of Bolivia.

What came out of it?

An exhibition of particular interest to local visitors from Aberdeenshire, and a research workshop on global collecting and local networks.

There were further unanticipated outcomes, which enhanced the exhibition's scope:

  1. Discoveries of some 'lost' items within the University's natural science collections, including a 'diabolical' mata mata turtle fished out of the Amazon during Trail's botanical expedition.
  2. Descendants of the original collectors making contact with the museum.

Message: Collaborative work by multiple partners from different disciplines adds new meaning to old collections.


Dr Jenny Downes is Curator of Exhibitions and Deputy Head of Museums at the University of Aberdeen. She designs and delivers the University Museums' exhibitions programme, working on co-curated projects with academic researchers and students on topics ranging from archaeology to zoology.


Gudrun Bucher & Susanne Wernsing, Göttingen University, Germany

The integrated research and exhibition project Sammeln Erforschen (Researching Collecting) is a collaboration of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and the Hochschule für Technik and Wirtschaft (HTW) Berlin. The aim of the project is to determine whether, and in what respect, the genesis of the academic disciplines in the late 18th century was stimulated and developed by actively using the university collections in research and teaching. From 1773 onward Göttingen University collected a wide range of items in the so called Royal Academic Museum, which was dissolved in the late 19th century giving the newly founded institutes their own collections respectively.

The outcome of the research will be presented in the form of a post representative exhibition in the new Forum Wissen in Göttingen. The exhibition will demonstrate the process of research done in the project by using ethnographic methods. For this purpose, collaboration and co-curation will be manifold, involving the actual curators of the items (which are now held now in different university collections) as well as source communities in Alaska and one other region from which the ethnographic items originate. We plan to experiment with participative curatorship that includes indigenous actors in addition to indigenous knowledge concepts. The idea is to present the different disciplines their representatives and actions as "academic tribes". The challenge will be to negotiate our ideas and conceptions with completely different groups of participants in an open way.


Gudrun Bucher studied Cultural Anthropology. She focuses on 18th century ethnographic collections (mainly Arctic and South Pacific), the history of ethnography as a discipline and research instructions.

The historian Susanne Wernsing curated several exhibitions in Vienna and Dresden focusing on body, mechanisation, performativity and racialism.


Susannah Waters, Alan Shaw & Helena Britt, Glasgow School of Art, UK

Classic Textiles, a subsidiary of the Centre for Advanced Textiles (CAT) at Glasgow School of Art (GSA), accurately recreates 20th century textile designs using digital technology. As the only licensed producer of Lucienne Day's iconic furnishing fabrics, Classic Textiles works with The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation. This poster disseminates a project between CAT and GSA's Archives and Collections, which explored the possibilities of developing textile-based products from the work of post-World War II designers represented in GSA's archives, triggered by Day's centenary year. Products were developed from work by Sylvia Chalmers, Dorothy Smith and Margaret Stewart, who studied textiles at GSA during the 1940s and 1950s. Chalmers won medals for her textiles and established Tuar Fabrics, producing designs for over twenty years. Smith gained the prestigious Newbery Medal for her diploma studies and worked in education. Stewart studied under influential designer Robert Stewart (no relation) and worked at Edinburgh Tapestry Company's, Dovecot Studios. An exhibition, Pioneers of Post-War Pattern showcased the newly created products alongside archive material and operated as a retail space for the new products. The project provided the opportunity to investigate and promote the work of Day, alongside her lesser-known Scottish-based contemporaries, resulting in further collaborative opportunities.


Dr Helena Britt is a lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. Research encompass aspects of contemporary and historical textile design, including investigation surrounding creative practitioner utilisation of archive resources; the impact of digital technologies on printed textile design; textiles pedagogy; linkages between research, practice, scholarship and teaching; practice-based research methodologies.

Alan Shaw is Industry Coordinator for the Centre for Advanced Textiles, involved with all aspects of the digital design and printing process, collaborative research and knowledge exchange projects, consultancy and management. Research includes enquiry which facilities designers and makers to integrate digital technologies into their practice, addressing perceptions of technology.

Susannah Waters, Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections Manager, has worked on exhibitions, seminars and workshops relating to the School's historical collections including the AHRC-funded Glasgow Miracle Project. Research interests include the use of archives by creative practitioners and the role of historical resources in higher education.


Jane Cameron & Sarah Bromage, Stirling University, UK

The Art Collection, Engender Network, Women's Support Project, ArtLink Central, and Gender Studies (University of Stirling) have developed a joint project to give a voice to women at HMP YOI Cornton Vale and women from the local community under custodial orders. The project aims to develop our local community audience, to widen access to our collections, and support teaching learning and research impact.

This project takes its inspiration from the Inside Outside exhibition currently on display in the University Art Collection which explores the lives of seven women who have current or recent experience in different parts of the sex trade, from street prostitution to escorting, brothels and saunas. The women talk of their backgrounds, routes into the sex industry, and their struggles to leave. They also talk about their hopes and their dreams for lives outside the sex industry.

Inside Outside aims to be innovative in its approach to improving literacy, to removing barriers to learning and to promote a learning culture within the prison and in the local community. Sections of the exhibition are now on display at Cornton Vale and participants, both within the prison and in the local community, will be encouraged to create artwork in response to the exhibition. This participatory work from the project will be on display in the University Art Collection between April and August 2018.


Jane Cameron is Curator of the University of Stirling Art Collection.

Sarah Bromage is Deputy Curator for the University of Stirling Art Collection and also the archivist for the Scottish Political Archive at the University.


Pia Vuorikoski, Helsinki University, Finland

The project partnership involved: the Department of University Communications that partly adopted the project by marketing and funding it; a famous Finnish writer, an alumna of the university, who wrote the manuscript for the drama; the museum's curator who collected facts about the theme; museum's head of exhibitions who produced the play; a professional freelance actress; and a guide. The drama was a fascinating and attractive way to tell the audience stories from the past by mixing fact and fiction. It also promoted the museum to new audiences. The drama was seen by 160 persons. The museum increased sales, got new customers via wider publicity, and made contacts with theatre circles. Every university may have educated a talented, famous artist who is willing to co-operate with her alma mater at low costs. Museum guides may have a lot of potential for different projects. An academically trained actress can do more that act: she can also direct and dramatize. Marketing with the professionals of the University's own organization is very effective.


Pia Vuorikoski is an art historian and has worked in the Helsinki University Museum since 2011. She has worked earlier with museum collections, exhibitions, and education. Her main research interests are history of the University of Helsinki, history of education and science in Finland, art history, student-life, museum pedagogy, and accessibility.


Jen Ridding, Birmingham University, UK

Who did the collaboration involve?

The collaboration involved three organisational partners:

We also worked with three contemporary urban artists:

  • Deka Hussain
  • Zuke
  • Matt Reeves

Overview of the project:

The three partners came together with a vision to take the Barber's fine art collection out of the gallery and into the streets. The project addresses the aims of our current audience development strategy. We commissioned three contemporary urban artists to select a work from the Barber collection. As part of the Birmingham Weekender festival the artists created a live response to the artwork on one of the busiest shopping streets in the city centre on a Saturday. Having just one day to make their response the pressure was on! This public art spectacle engaged passers-by from all diverse walks of life, many of whom had never visited the Barber or the University campus before. It was an inspirational, accessible and democratic learning experience for everyone involved.

Why? The main motivation and wider aims/objectives:

This project aimed to share the Barber's fine art collection with new audiences on a mass-participation scale, raising awareness of the venue, the collection and our engagement programme. We sought to create new interpretations of the collection by commissioning three contemporary artists to create their own 'take' on their chosen works which would speak to Birmingham's diverse communities.

What came out of it? The key outcomes of the collaboration:

  • Secured funding and marketing support not otherwise available to us
  • Showcase the collection on a huge public platform - engaged with over 400 people directly on the day
  • Positive engagement on an accessible and democratic level
  • Connected with a wider audience, many of whom wouldn't ordinarily engage with our collection
  • Access to these new artists and networks
  • Supported three local artists in their practice
  • Legacy of the project for campus and future community events - the partnership will continue.


Jen Ridding is the Learning & Engagement Manager at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham. She has ten years' experience working in learning in gallery and museum settings. At the Barber, Jen oversees the Learning and Engagement programme which engages wide-ranging audiences. Jen co-created the Barber's new audience development strategy with a particular focus on developing innovative student and academic engagement. Action research, reflective practice, and creativity are all central to Jen's approach.


Jane Thogersen, Rhonda Davis & Kate Hargraves, Macquarie University, Australia

The Art and Object Engagement (AOE) program at Macquarie University is a collaboration between: university collections (Art Gallery; Australian History Museum), multi-disciplinary researchers, students, industry partners, and community. Engaging with contemporary art and social-history objects within an art museum context positively enhances the emotional and social wellbeing of participants living with dementia. The program encourages social interaction, which stimulates ideas and narratives. We explore how the memories contribute to the historical record. Collection collaboration provides a broader range of content and sensory experience, allowing deeper levels of engagement.

The program offers inventive ways to utilise campus collections and work together. New perspectives revitalise collections and curators, whilst knowledge-sharing between participants, program facilitators, students and researchers informs collection use, research, and exhibition planning into the future. Enhancing the university profile and reputation, the program delivers a much needed community service, whilst embedding the program within the multi-disciplinary learning, teaching and research framework ensures ongoing growth and sustainability. Participant benefits can include improved behavior; communication; socialisation; augmenting stimulation; and reduction of chemical intervention.

The AOE program supports collaborative approaches to diverse collections, research, and curatorial practice, providing a meaningful way to give back to a growing, and in many ways marginalised, audience.


Jane Thogersen is Manager, Australia History Museum (AHM), with BAHIS (Hons), MA MusStudies. Her research interests include: education and outreach design (including museum memory programs for clients with Dementia); multi-disciplinary primary, secondary, and tertiary education object integration with learning, teaching and research; exploring the social responsibility and impact of museums in the community.

Rhonda Davis is Senior Curator, Macquarie University Art Gallery. Her research interests include: history and impact of the Central Street Gallery to Australian art since the 1960s; contemporary art and dementia programs; developing dynamic exhibitions that stimulate different ways of thinking; exploring the intersections between art, science, history, philosophy, media, music and culture.

Kate Hargraves is Curator, Macquarie University Art Gallery. Her research interests include: arts-based learning as a way to develop creativity and innovation with groups - from pre-school to the elderly; developing thought-provoking multi medium exhibitions of contemporary art.


Boram Lee, Ian Fillis & Kim Lehman, Stirling University, UK; Liverpool John Moores University, UK; University of Tasmania, Australia

This case study examines how an artist residency at an aquaculture institute within a university creates value on campus and beyond. We find that the residency, initially regarded as 'risk-taking' by both artist and institute, created unexpected opportunities stemming from the synergies between art and science. We find that 'new ways of seeing' aquaculture science resulted in the creation of aesthetic, emotional, environmental, educational and social values embracing the intrinsic, instrumental, and institutional, on both personal and organisational levels. The lack of available time from academic staff and financial support for the artist, however, need to be addressed in order to achieve the residency's full potential. Supporting Tepper (2006) who argues that creativity should lie at the heart of universities, stressing their significant role in arts ecology, we claim that universities have important roles in commissioning, employing and training artists in addition to merely celebrating the arts. In addition to the arguments for art-based initiatives generally, we suggest that artist residencies, if planned thoughtfully, have the potential to create an innovative and creative culture on campus and beyond.


Boram Lee, PhD, is a lecturer in Accounting and Finance at the University of Stirling. Much of her research applies behavioural science techniques to the arts. Her wide range of research interests covers the valuation of arts and culture, and the socio-economic aspects of the cultural and creative industries.


Sergio Rodero Jiménez & Pilar Ruiz Ibáñez, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the "Ciudad Universitaria", the university district of Madrid, The Complutense University of Madrid has organised "Museums for Knowledge", an exhibition that showcases the typology and diversity of its scientific and artistic university heritage. The joint work of the curatorial team, formed by three professors and two students of the Masters in Museums and Heritage programme, has shaped the character of the exhibition, which was also used as part of practical training activities.

The main challenge was to create an exhibition for both experts and general visitors that would exhibit together, and outside their usual environment, both the didactic and artistic works that form parts of the collections of the fourteen museums and the fifteen collections of the University. While maintaining the original teaching function that these pieces have today, nevertheless, the nature of the works make clear, once again, that "nothing is what it seems".

The exhibition proposes a unified and innovative idea of university heritage. The different works speak with each other through constellations which form the key thread of the exhibition. With more than 230 objects, "Museums for Knowledge" was widely enjoyed and understood in different ways by the public, and had an overall positive reception. Not only has it been oriented to an academic audience interested in the special characteristics of the related collections, but to a much more general public.


Pilar Ruiz Ibáñez graduated in History of Art from the University of Granada and has been part of the curatorial team of "Museums for Knowledge". She is doing an internship at the Juan March Foundation (Madrid) and her main line of research now is the exhibition assembly as an artwork.

Sergio Rodero Jiménez graduated in History of Art from the University of Granada and has been part of the curatorial team of "Museums for Knowledge". He is doing an internship at the Prado National Museum and his main lines of research is the Spanish university collections and collecting in the seventeenth century.


Alessandra Menegazzi & Cinzia Bettineschi, Padua University, Italy

Between 2015 and 2016, the Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art (MSA) took part in the University project, "Archaeology and Virtual Acoustics: A Pan Flute from Egypt" carried out together with archaeologists and sound engineers. The main objective was to find a new model to display ancient musical instruments in archaeology museums. In MSA, the instrument was a Pan flute from greek-roman Egypt. The project adopted a multidisciplinary approach that allowed us to virtually rebuild the flute and recreate its sound. An important step for the Museum was defining co-curation together with the academic group, especially young Ph.D. students at their first approach to a museum exhibit. The key outcomes: virtual presentation (e.g. the Pan flute can be virtually played and explored in deep by the public through an electronic device); new opportunities to communicate the collections to a wider public; educational engagement; social role (e.g. music for people's inclusion). The message: even a single object can change the way you work in a museum and its perception to the public.


Alessandra Menegazzi is Curator of the Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art at University of Padua. Her main interests are in museology and history of collecting, especially plaster casts collections.

Cinzia Bettineschi holds a Ph.D. in archaeometry. Her main interests are Public Archaeology, with a special emphasis on Museum Education and dissemination activities.



Nathalie Nyst, Free University of Brussels, Belgium

The ULB Museums Network projects to collaborate with other university museums and collections from the French-speaking part of Belgium (Louvain-la-Neuve, Liège, Namur, Mons) in order to set up a specific network similar to the Flemish Academisch Erfgoed in Vlaanderen.

Such an inter-university platform should be useful at different levels:

  • At the universities' level: exchanging expertise, working on a common inventory and common strategy policies on the preservation, study and dissemination of the collections
  • At the Wallonia-Brussels Federation's and the Brussels-Capital Region's level:
    • Generating a debate on the position of the university's movable heritage as part of the cultural movable heritage
    • Acting as the unique counterpart and representative of the university's movable heritage with regards to the public authorities and funders
    • Working with public authorities on specific cultural policies, at the intersection of teaching, research, and culture


Dr Nathalie Nyst teaches the Master of Cultural Management programme at the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, and has coordinated the ULB Museums Network since 2004. She is also Director of the Direction of Culture at the Ministry of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation where she mainly deals with museum public policies.


Claire Knowles & Kirsty Lingstadt, Edinburgh University, UK

The Coimbra Group of ancient universities seeks to bring institutions together to promote internationalisation, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and research, and service to society. Last year's Coimbra Group conference 'Universities and the Future of Cultural Heritage' was inspired by the Scottish Year of 2017, History, Heritage and Archaeology. To celebrate the diverse collections from the member universities, a virtual museum was created containing items from members' collections. The virtual museum was curated by the University of Edinburgh Art Curator and the website was designed by a student intern, built upon existing technical infrastructure. This poster will explore:

  • The agreed metadata requirements covering different item types
  • Item submissions via Google Drive and Google Spreadsheets
  • The importance of clear guidelines
  • User interface considerations
  • Geomapping of items for discovery
  • How the IIIF image standard means images can be used without being copied
  • Next steps to turn a one of exhibition to a service for Coimbra Members


Claire Knowles, is the Library Digital Development Manager at the University of Edinburgh. She works on projects and services to aid discovery of collections and preserve content for the long-term. Claire works on open source solutions for archives, repositories, images, and publishing.

Kirsty Lingstadt is Head of Digital Library and Deputy Director of Library and University Collections at the University of Edinburgh. Kirsty is passionate about Collections of all types - library, archive or museums - and engaging users with them. She formerly worked for Historic Environment Scotland.


Nick Booth, SS Great Britain, Bristol, UK

The Brunel Collection consists of the papers of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, described as "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history". Considered the world's finest collection of original Brunel source material, the Collection was donated to the University of Bristol by Brunel's grand-daughter and biographer, Lady Celia Noble, in 1950. It has been added to since, notably in 1972 when the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust deposited on permanent loan records and plans from 1830 to 1953. In 2010, because of the formal collaboration agreement between the SS Great Britain Trust and the University of Bristol, the Collection was loaned in its entirety to the Brunel Institute at the SS Great Britain, an Independent Museum in Bristol. In 2011 the collection received 2,617 users, 8,040 in 2014, and 13,940 in 2017. Objects from the Collection feature heavily in the Being Brunel Museum, opening in March 2018 – without this pre-existing collaboration this new museum would not have been possible. This poster will explore the changes that have been made in management (both in regard to cataloguing and access to collections), discuss problems met and how they were overcome, and investigate the way staff from the two institutions have collaborated to enable these changes.


Nick Booth is Head of Collections at the SS Great Britain. His interests include 19th century science and engineering, collections access and use, and in particular the way museums and other cultural organisations can work together to overcome common problems.


Jaanika Anderson & Ester Oras, Tartu University, Estonia

The University of Tartu Art Museum has versatile academic collections. The opening of the new exhibition dedicated to the two Egyptian mummies brought along visitors' questions about the age of the mummies. The museum contacted archaeologists to seek help with radiocarbon dating. The material was intriguing enough to form an interdisciplinary research group including archaeologists, chemists, aDNA specialists, microbiologists, anthropologists, entomologists, forensics, etc. Top-level laboratories and methods were employed at the university and in external institutes to gain an exhaustive set of information.

The research group was motivated because of the unique material and interdisciplinary nature of the work. Scientific outreach through communication and potential for articles were also appreciated. The museum was interested in knowledge on the mummies to be integrated into the exhibition and used in educational activities.

The outcomes of the project were considerably more extensive than planned: interdisciplinary research results, public seminars, broadcasts on Estonian national television, exhibitions, scientific articles, and collaboration experience.

There are no losers in this project. Rather, it adds the aspect of scientific developments to the history and culture of ancient Egypt in the museum. The project was awarded as the laureate of the development of the museum collection (2017, Estonia).


J. Anderson received a PhD from the University of Tartu in 2015 in Classical Philology. Her main research interests are the reception of ancient art, history of collections, and implementation of university collections. She is the curator of the antiquities collection and currently the head of the UT Art Museum.

E. Oras is an archaeo-chemist working as a senior researcher in archaeology and analytical chemistry at the University of Tartu. She is interested in applying physical and chemical methods in the studies of archaeological material. Her main fields of research include organic residue analysis, dating, and migration studies.


Tove Eivindsen, NTNU University Museum, Trondheim, Norway

The Starmus Festival, "The world's most ambitious science festival," was held in Trondheim from 18-23 June 2017, with 11 Nobel laureates, 10 astronauts and 46 "science celebrities" on the program. NTNU University Museum is responsible for NTNU's (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) university historical collection (UHS). The museum wished to highlight the potential of objects as promotional and educational tools, through a one-hour "pop-up exhibition" on lunar rocks. The main aim was to raise awareness of the UHS and to build curiosity and enthusiasm ahead of the launch of a new website and database presentation in 2018. With a very short timeframe available (one day from idea to fruition), the project depended on collaboration within the museum, NTNU and Starmus. Result: hundreds of visitors, announcements from the festival main stage and coverage in national and regional press. The massive interest helped profile the museum as an active partner in Starmus. We want to inspire Universeum attendees by sharing the message that short intensive and collaborative work can have great promotional results; it helped build relationships within the university and raise awareness of the amazing stories to be told about objects in the UHS.


Tove Eivindsen (M.Sc.) is Head of Communication at NTNU University Museum and a board member of ICOM MPR. Eivindsen works on digital communication tools for museums and heads an innovative collection online project at her museum, as well as the Norark.no blog on behalf of the Norwegian university museums.


Marisa Monteiro, Ana Freitas, Cristiana Vieira, Fernando Pontes, Patrícia Costa, Susana Barros & Susana Medina, Porto University, Portugal

The Academia Polytechnica emerged in Porto in the 1837 and became University of Porto in 1911. In 1852 another educational institution, the Escola Industrial – later Instituto Industrial do Porto – was created. Both schools shared facilities, lecturers, laboratories and scientific instruments from 1854 to 1933. Today, material evidence of these institutions is dispersed across several collections. Their curators have spent the past years researching this scientific heritage and its common ground.

This poster will describe the collaborative experience developed in 2017 that supported the program of the Academia's 180th anniversary. It argues that collaborative models allow room for more pluralism and inspire complementary and innovative approaches to projects.

From the curators' point of view, the benefits arising from co-curating include learning and sharing different methodological approaches for analysing the same object, thereby doing justice to the rich diversity of collections and increasing interaction within the academic community. Other key consequences will be also outlined: achieving shared expectations; enriching the documentation of collections; delivering communication products on collections, museum practices and research; and creating reliable and replicable collaborative experiences.


Marisa Monteiro graduated in Physics and has been a curator since 2000, previously with the former Science Museum and presently with the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto, where she is researching and cataloguing its exact science collection. She has also contributed to a number of interactive and historical scientific exhibitions.

Ana Freitas is a paper conservator responsible for the preservation, conservation, restoration and display of documents, books, and works of art belonging to the Historical Archive and Library of the University of Porto. She graduated in Paper Conservation and Restoration from FCT-UNL in 2006.

Cristiana Vieira has been the curator of the Herbarium of the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto since 2015, where she is responsible for the botanical collections integrated in PO Herbarium. After graduating she furthered her knowledge of taxonomy and ecology, and authored publications on botany and science dissemination.

Fernando Pontes has been a librarian at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto since 1996. He works at FEUPmuseu and has a special interest in the promotion of cultural activities and in the preservation of the University of Porto's heritage.

Patrícia Costa is a curator with the Museum of ISEP, since 1999. She graduated in Historical Sciences from Portucalense University. She began her specialization in 1998 and has maintained a keen interest in museums ever since. She obtained a master's degree from the University of Porto (2007), was a researcher at IHC – FCSH-UNL (2013), and obtained her PhD in Geology at FCTUC (2014).


Vuorinen Pirjo, Koskela Tanja & Timonen Jonna, Open Science Centre, Jyväskylä University, Finland

Open Science Centre (OSC) was implemented in 2017 as part of the University's strategic planning, with its main aims being to gain synergy benefits from the Museum and Library expertise and to save by common share management and facilities. OSC is based on a matrix organization where three main functions (Library, Museum, and Open Knowledge Services) intersect through seven different teams (Customer services, Publishing, Collections, Natural and Cultural Heritage, Teaching, Research Support Services, and Network Services). Each function has its director and each team its team leader. The goal of the matrix organization was to form a cross-functional organization to increase cooperation and communication across the library and museum silos. Wider aims of the OSC are to promote open access by bringing scientific publications as well as cultural and natural history collections available, also online, to a wider public. With versatile exhibitions, OSC aims to bring science close to the public by introducing heritage as well as achievements of researchers of different fields. Construction of the organization is still in progress. The practices and management need unifying, as well as the cooperation across different teams. The key outcomes of the coalition and collaboration remain to be seen in the future.


MA Pirjo Vuorinen is the Vice Director of the Open Science Centre, and the Director of its Museum Services.

Dr. Tanja Koskela is the Team Leader of the Natural and Cultural heritage of the Open Science Centre.

Dr. Jonna Timonen is the Coordinator of Museum Education and a team member of the Natural and Cultural heritage of the Open Science Centre.


Genevieve Warwick, Edinburgh University, UK

This presentation is based on the experience of working with Master's and PhD student groups over a 3-year cycle of research and teaching in preparation for the University of Edinburgh's recent exhibition of its founding art bequest, the Torrie Collection. What developed was a mutually supportive structure of research-led curating and teaching. Students thrived on the opportunity, many of them going on to major gallery internships, museum/heritage employment, PhD programmes, and exhibition work.

As part of a broad-based university with a dedicated museum and collections unit and a university art gallery, we were able to bring together expertise across disciplinary and institutional infrastructures to deliver an outstanding programme of collections-led postgraduate teaching. Because the Torrie Collection was a founding loan for the National Gallery of Scotland, we were also able to draw on curatorial expertise in the national gallery sector for our students. The students mounted mini-exhibitions each year in which they developed new lines of thought about university collections and their uses in teaching and research today. These continue to inform our work as we move forward to our next project, on our university plaster cast collections.


Genevieve Warwick is Professor of the History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include: early modern art collecting, university collections and heritage, Renaissance print making, artists' drawings, art and theatre, sculpture and architectural ornament, Renaissance art practice, and early modern scientific instruments.

Friday 15 June 2018

Session 1C Teaching and Student Engagement with Collections



Dominik Huenniger & Margarete Voehringer, Göttingen University, Germany

As material academic heritage, the 70 collections of the University of Göttingen are used by various disciplines in teaching as well as research. They reflect the variety of subjects covered at the university and are of great historical interest as a testimony to the history of knowledge formation as well as the history of science and scholarship. Accessibility to these collections for students and university teachers has greatly improved in recent years. Interdisciplinary work with the objects from our collections inspires a fruitful use of the academic and educational value of collections not only from a historical point of view but also for contemporary knowledge practices. In close collaboration with the curators of the collections, we have taught specific courses on the history of the sciences and humanities. These courses have been object-based and students could experience the importance of materiality for generating and disseminating knowledge on a hands-on basis. This term we are co-teaching a seminar entitled "The pedagogy of things: universities and their objects from the 18th to the 21st century in a global perspective." This seminar will include an excursion to the Hunterian and the "Philosophy Chamber" exhibition. In our presentation, we will highlight the challenges and benefits of teaching with university collections.


Margarete Voehringer's research interests include: materiality and aesthetics of the sciences and humanities; cultural practices of seeing; history of reflex action; collecting and exhibiting in laboratories; the arts in the history of science; transfer of knowledge between Russia and Germany and its material practices.

Dominik Huenniger's research interests include: 18th century environmental, medical, and natural history as well as the history of universities and scholarship; history of entomology; history of natural history collecting; material culture of the sciences; global history of knowledge formation and practices.


Rhianedd Smith, Reading University, UK

How do we move from isolated examples of best practice to build a cohesive and persuasive strategy for the future of collections led teaching?

The collections led teaching and student engagement programme at the University of Reading has been running for over 10 years and is entering a new phase. This paper explores the development of a strategic plan for the future of collections led teaching. The presentation will chart the process of consultation and the challenges faced in articulating a shared philosophy, mission and set of SMART objectives for a diverse group of collections. It will examine how the team has attempted to capture the unique offer of university collections as complex and authentic learning environments. It also suggests ways in which the attributes of collections-based learning may connect and communicate with the long-term priorities of the university executive.

It is argued here that university collections need to move beyond case studies if they are to successfully communicate their student learning offer to their home institutions. This paper posits that the development of a bold strategy can be utilised elsewhere to articulate the wider impact of collections, highlight issues of capacity, and suggest models for sustainable development.


Dr Smith is the University Museums and Special Collections Services Director of Academic Learning and Engagement, University of Reading. She is also the Director of the Heritage & Creativity Institute for Collections.


Marlen Mouliou, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Over the last few years, a new culture of participatory student engagement with university museum collections has been developed in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in the context of undergraduate and postgraduate courses of Museology and other independent initiatives developed by students under my supervision. The kind of engagement varies depending on the nature of the project undertaken, ranging from the design of educational programmes for school groups, to the setting-up and implementation of open museum days for different audiences, to the making of conceptual and architectural briefs for complete re-display of museum collections.

The aim of this presentation is not to provide a panorama of such activities for its own sake but rather to assess the immediate and long-term impact of students' engagement with museum collections through these kinds of activities. The assessment draws from qualitative research based on semi-structured interviews with students who have participated in the projects. Its aims are manifold:

  • to present a synthesis of the strategies adopted for encouraging engagement with the collections and discuss the challenges involved;
  • to shed light into how new pedagogies in material culture studies have gained ground through such experiences;
  • to review the nature of students' entanglement with museum objects and collections;
  • to look for emergence of new order through the transformation of students' stances towards museums, academic heritage and/or their disciplines as fields of knowledge and professional practice;
  • to map students' later choices of career paths and how these have been connected (if at all) with all the above.


Marlen Mouliou is full-time Lecturer of Museology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is Vice-Chair of UNIVERSEUM and member of the Panel of Judges of the European Museum of the Year Award. Research interests include: Museums and their public value, museum history, academic heritage, city museums, public archaeology, museum professionalism and training, museum accreditation.

Universeum General Assembly



Anna Guagnini, Luca Zan, Paolo Ferri, Elena Santagati & Pegram Harrison, Bologna University, Italy & Oxford University, UK

This paper reports the preliminary findings of an organisational analysis of the University museums of Bologna, Padua, and Oxford. The comparison focuses on the degree of museums' autonomy from universities, the availability of human and financial resources, and the governance mechanisms, namely who takes decisions and how. From a methodological point of view, the paper employs a qualitative approach, drawing on semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and documental analysis. We reflect on how similar pressures for change at the identity level – in terms of shifting functions from research and teaching to a broader audience engagement — have been dealt with in different ways at the organisational level, and with different degrees of success from a curatorial and audience engagement point of view. For instance, in Bologna museums are managed by university Departments and, more specifically, by academics, whose museum-related activities are not recognized as an output in current performance measurement systems. On the other hand, in Oxford, university museums have a semi-autonomous status, outside academic logics. This paper is the first output of a broader research project exploring the synergies between management studies and the humanities by investigating the academic practices for dealing with material intellectual assets (museum collections, heritage sites, digital archives).


Anna Guagnini is a researcher at the Department of Philosophy and Communication, University of Bologna. She teaches Museums and Scientific Institutions at the Master level in Arts Management (GIOCA), University of Bologna.

Luca Zan is a Professor of General Management at the University of Bologna, Italy, and Visiting Professor at the Carnegie Mellon University, USA. His research interests include arts management and the history of management practices. Particular issues of investigation are the role of managerial rhetoric, public sector change, and resistance to change.

Paolo Ferri is Senior Assistant Professor in Accounting at the University of Bologna. His research deals with the study of change and innovation in accountability systems among complex and professional organizations, and has been conducted mainly in cultural organizations such as museums, archaeological sites, and opera houses.

Maria Elena Santagati is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Department of Management, University of Bologna.

Pegram Harrison is a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. He is a member of the Oxford Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and of Exeter College, Oxford. Pegram's research and teaching concern entrepreneurship and leadership in an entrepreneurial context.