UNIVERSEUM is concerned with academic heritage in its broadest sense, including university collections, museums, archives, libraries, botanical gardens, astronomical observatories, and university buildings of historical, artistic and scientific significance.

This year’s main conference theme focuses on the importance for university museums of working together, not only within the university campus but also beyond, collaborating with other cultural heritage organisations; with other communities; with society at large. This is now perhaps more important than ever, with socio-political developments around Europe and the rest of the world making us rethink the idea of Europe. These developments bring to the fore questions of identity, but also make obvious the need to work in partnerships of different type and size with our diverse communities in order to be stronger and better able to withstand the rapid changes of our economic, ideological, and cultural landscape. Working together includes also giving the initiative and the voice to our end users, and working closely together to co-curate and co-create exhibitions, resources, and events.

This year the conference is hosted by The Hunterian, at the University of Glasgow at its newly refurbished offices at Kelvin Hall, a good example of the result of a partnership between a university museum with a national cultural organisation (The National Library of Scotland and its Moving Image Archive) and a local authority one, Glasgow Life, the umbrella organisation of the City of Glasgow covering both Glasgow Sport and Glasgow Museums.

Under the main theme of 'Working Together', we invite proposals for a 5 or 15 minute talk on one of the following two sub-themes or for a poster session addressing the overall theme:

Subtheme 1: Teaching and Student Engagement with Collections
Although the primary focus is higher education students, this session also covers the whole range of educational groups from pre-school classes to adult education students. What strategies have you adopted for encouraging engagement with the collections? How do you link with the learning objectives of different groups? And how do you ensure that they link to some extent with yours? What are the main lessons you have learned from initiatives in this area? What are the main challenges you have encountered? Is there a methodology or some broad guiding principles that have worked for your institutions? Which of these do you think might be more broadly applicable? How do you evaluate the success of these activities?

Subtheme 2: Co-curating Academic Collections Within and Beyond the Campus
How do you define co-curation in your case? Which groups did you engage with? What is the context? How did the power dynamic evolve? Who was making the key decisions? What were the challenges you encountered? What were the obstacles and the opportunities? What do you see as the main gains? What processes and methodology did you follow in your particular context? Are there any widely adaptable models? What can others learn from your experience? Have you got any insights from working with communities and groups within academia? And what about co-curating collections with groups outside academia?

Abstracts for sub-theme session 1 and 2 need to include:

i) introduction / problematisation / context
ii) main arguments / methods
iii) results or discussion

This year, as a special topic for Universeum 2018 Poster Session, we encourage the presentation of posters on 'Working Together in University Museums'.

Poster session: Working Together in University Museums

  • Who did the collaboration involve? The user group / community / organisation / individual you collaborated with
  • Why? The main motivation and wider aims/objectives
  • What came out of it? The key outcomes or expected outcomes of the collaboration
  • What is the inspirational message to share with others about it?

Abstracts for posters need to address the four bullet points above.

Please send abstract proposals (max. 200 words), with an indication of the session you are submitting to (sub-theme 1, sub-theme 2, or poster session), plus a short biographical note highlighting main research interests and/or field of professional experience (max. 50 words) to the following email address by Friday 9 February

At this year’s meeting we want to explore different ways of encouraging discussion and debate around the main themes outlined above, as well as allow as many voices from the community to be heard as possible. We want to combine short papers, with longer in-depth contributions that reflect more broadly on these themes rather than present specific projects, as well as invite dialogue and discussions from all participants. When submitting your abstract, please indicate if you would prefer to give a poster, a 5 minute, or a 15 minute presentation.

The abstract template is now available for download.

The conference language is English. We welcome contributions from cultural heritage professionals and academics, but also postā€graduate students who are encouraged to present.

Programme Committee
Steph Scholten, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Chair (UK) 
Maria Economou, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Vice-Chair (UK)

Monica Callaghan, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (UK)
Mungo Campbell, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (UK) 
Malcolm Chapman, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (UK)
Ruth Fletcher, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (UK) 
Nicky Reeves, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (UK) 
Lola Sanchez-Jauregui, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (UK) 
Frédérique Andry-Cazin, Sorbonne University (France)
Esther Boeles, University of Amsterdam (NL) 
Marlen Mouliou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece)
Sébastien Soubiran, University of Strasbourg (France)