Pre-Conference Workshop

Collections in the Hunterian Museum
UNIVERSEUM 2018 Pre-conference Training Workshop

University of Glasgow, 11 - 13 June 2018*

The Hunterian Collections Study Centre at Kelvin Hall


*Main UNIVERSEUM Conference takes place 13 - 15 June 2018

‌From the stores to sharing with different user communities

Universeum is pleased to announce its 2nd Training Workshop in collaboration with The Hunterian, at the University of Glasgow (Scotland). The workshop is aimed at Universeum members, either individual or institutional, and is open to anyone interested in becoming a Universeum member (for details on membership, see the Universeum website) who wish to develop their skills and knowledge in managing, documenting, interpreting, and disseminating university collections. The workshop is linked to Universeum’s annual conference which will take place from 13-15 June at the University of Glasgow.

University collections are diverse and range from scientific instruments to anatomical specimens, from maps to drawings, from manuscripts to plaster casts, to mention only a few. The workshop will make use of The Hunterian’s diverse and rich encyclopaedic collections of over 1.5 million objects, but will also encourage participants to bring to the discussions the issues and ideas that relate to their own collections from their institutions across Europe. The diversity of university collections and the complex associations that they bring, present significant challenges to the professionals and scholars studying, managing, and communicating them to diverse users.

The workshop sessions will be co-ordinated by cultural heritage professionals and academics from the University of Glasgow and The Hunterian, as well as by the broader Universeum network working on collections management, provenance, accessioning and de-accessioning, conservation, cultural heritage trafficking, interpretation using analogue and digital media, storytelling, and student engagement. Workshop participants will be actively involved in a variety of hands-on, interdisciplinary, group-based, and discussion sessions, rather than passively listening to traditional lecture-style presentations.

The workshop aims at demystifying and deconstructing the various processes that take place once an object enters a university collection. Participants will engage directly with objects and collections at the state-of-the-art recently renovated Hunterian Collection Study Centre at the historic and iconic Kelvin Hall building and engage in a dialogue with curators, museum directors, conservators, collection managers, educators, university lecturers and researchers. The workshop will include a combination of group and individual work.

Participants will be expected to work on a short presentation of the key issues that arose from the workshop (during the third day with access to computers and printing facilities provided at Kelvin Hall) to present at session during the main conference, so will be expected to stay in Glasgow for the whole week (11-15 June 2018) during which the workshop and conference will take place.

Workshop topics covered

Day 1 - Building and managing collectionsObject-based learning; Accessioning and De-accessioning objects; Objects’ provenance; Trafficking of antiquities and cultural property

Day 2 – Communicating and sharing collections: Working internationally and collaboratively in exhibitions; exhibition planning and curating; student engagement and museum education; digital interpretation

Day 3 - (AM - half day) Preparation for presentation for main conference based on workshop experience and discussions

Who is it for? The workshop is aimed mainly at early career professionals working in university museums, archives, libraries, special collections, PhD students and early career researchers working with/on university collections

Registration fee: There is no fee for attending the workshop

Other costs: Lunch and coffee/tea during the day will be provided by Universeum. Participants, or their organisations, will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodation. Information and suggestions for these are provided on the Universeum2018 website. An optional evening meal will be organised for the first evening, 11 June 2018 to be paid by the participants who sign up for it

Maximum number of participants: To allow for hands-on and behind-the-scenes sessions and work in small groups, the workshop is limited to 16 participants

Grants: The Universeum Board is able to offer 5 travel grants of 500 euros each (250 euros for participants based in the UK) to cover travel within Europe and accommodation

Workshop dates: 11-13 June 2018, 2.5 days (before the main Universeum main conference which will take place 13-15 June. Post-conference study trips to Scottish university collections outside Glasgow will take place 16-17 June (more details about these will be provided at the Universeum2018 website nearer the time). Workshop participants are expected to attend also the main Universeum conference

VenueHunterian Collection Study Centre at Kelvin Hall, 1445 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AW


  • Workshop participants should have paid the Universeum annual membership fee, either institutional or individual, for 2018 (so check if your institution is already a member). If you are interested in becoming a member, please check the membership section of the Universeum websites 
  • Participants should be researching or working with a University collection, museum, archive, or library (either as part of their work or PhD or post-doctoral studies/research) at the time the workshop will take place
  • Participants should be fluent in spoken and written English

Overall selection of applicants will take into account gender balance, as well as the diversity of their backgrounds, age, country, and museum/collection(s).

Participants should be prepared to do preparatory work before and during the workshop (e.g. readings and assignments), participate in its evaluation, and prepare a presentation for the main conference.

Application process: Applications should include:

  1. Completed application form (Download Universeum Pre-Conference Workshop Application Form)
  2. A letter of motivation from the applicant explaining why they wish to participate and what they expect to gain from the workshop (1 A4 page)
  3. A short CV (up to 1 A4 page) indicating studies, training, work experience, publications, and current work responsibilities

Applications should be sent by email to with the title: 'Application for Universeum pre-conference workshop 2018' before 10 March 2018.

Contact: If you have any questions about the workshop, please send an email to


Draft Programme

Day 1 – Building and managing collections

Monday, 11 June 2018, Hunterian Collections Study Centre, Kelvin Hall, 1st & 2nd Floor

08:45              Arrival at Kelvin Hall. You will be greeted at the Main Entrance, ground floor and taken to the Hunterian Reading Room, Kelvin Hall 2nd floor

9.00-9:30         Welcome Coffee and Introductions  - Universeum Executive Board Members (Sébastien Soubiran, Strasbourg University; Esther Boeles, Amsterdam University; Marlen Mouliou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) & Hunterian staff (Steph Scholten, Director; Maria Economou, Curator/Senior Lecturer in Museum Studies; Monica Callaghan, Head of Education)

                           Location: Hunterian Reading Room, Kelvin Hall 2nd floor

9:30-9:35         Participants will be taken one floor down to the Hunterian Collections Study Centre and shown how to store coats, bags, etc to the lockers provided

9:35-10.30       Session 1.1. warm-up group activity & aims and context of training workshop

Location: Hunterian Collections Study Centre, Kelvin Hall 1st floor [Search Room 1]

10.30-11.30     Session 1.2. “Object-based learning”   – Maria Economou with Malcolm Chapman, Head of Collections Management, Hunterian

Location: Teaching Lab, Hunterian Collections Study Centre, Kelvin Hall 1st floor

11.30 -13.00    Session 1.3. “Accession, De-accession, or Put back on the shelf? Making decisions about neglected 20th-century objects” – Nicky Reeves, Hunterian Curator of Scientific and Medical History Collections, Hunterian

Location: Hunterian Collections Study Centre, Kelvin Hall 1st floor [Search Room 1]

13.00 – 14:00 Lunch break & debriefing opportunity at KH Hunterian Reading Room

14.00 -15.30    Session 1.4. “Trafficking of antiquities and cultural property” - Donna Yates, Lecturer, Sociology, University of Glasgow

Location: Hunterian Collections Study Centre, Kelvin Hall 1st floor [Search Room 1 ]

15.30-16.00     Coffee break & session debrief at Hunterian Reading Room, Kelvin Hall 2nd floor

16.00 -17.00    Session 1.5. “Investigating Object Journeys” - Steph Scholten, Hunterian Director & Anne Dulau, Art Curator

Location: Hunterian Collections Study Centre, Kelvin Hall 1st floor [Search Room 2]

17.00 -18:00    Sum up of the day.  Presentations from rapporteurs & discussion among participants, preparation for main conference presentation

             Location: Hunterian Reading Room, Kelvin Hall 2nd floor

 18:30 -          Welcome Dinner - Pizzas and drinks

Location: Hunterian Reading Room, Kelvin Hall 2nd floor or (weather permitting) Hunterian Offices’ Balcony


Day 2 – Communicating and sharing collections

Tuesday, 12 June 2018, Main Glasgow University Campus (Hunterian Art Gallery, Special Collections at Level 12 of Glasgow University Library, Hunterian Museum)

Hunterian Art Gallery (in front of UoG Library building), ground floor, meet at Foyer

9.00-10.30        Session 2.1. “Working internationally and collaboratively in exhibitions”

Case study 1: The Philosophy Chamber: Repurposing an exhibition from Harvard to Glasgow - Lola Sanchez-Jauregui, Art Curator, Hunterian;

Case study 2: William Hunter’s Tercentenary exhibition - Mungo Campbell, Deputy Director, Hunterian

Location: in the Hunterian Art Gallery at Philosophy Chamber exhibition

10.30-11.00     Coffee break & debrief at Hunterian Art Gallery (Main Gallery)

11.00 -12.30    Session 2.2. “Student engagement and museum education” - Ruth Fletcher, Student Engagement Officer & Monica Callaghan, Head of Education, Hunterian

                      Location: John McIntyre building (opposite Main Gate), Room 201 (ground floor)

12.30 – 13:30 Lunch break at Fraser Building cafe (building with green panels opposite Glasgow University Library)

13.30 -15.00    Session 2.3 “Using Social Media to Engage with Special Collections“ - Johanna Green, Lecturer in Book History and Digital Humanities, Information Studies, UoG

                      Location: Special Collections, Level 12, Henry Heaney Room, UofG Library

15.00-15.15     Walk to Hunterian Museum Main Hall (Main Glasgow Univ Building) (coffee/tea in Museum)

15.15 -17.00    Session 2.4. “Digital interpretation – EMOTIVE digital storytelling” - Maria Economou & EMOTIVE research team: Hilary Young and Emilia Sosnowska

Location: Hunterian Museum, Main Glasgow University building, Antonine Wall gallery

17:00-17:05     Walk from Hunterian Museum to Kelvin Hall

17.05 -18.00    Sum up of the day.  Presentations from rapporteurs & discussion, preparation for main conference presentation

                      Location: Hunterian Reading Room, Kelvin Hall 2nd floor


Day 3, 13th June 2018 am, Hunterian Reading Room, Kelvin Hall, 2nd floor

9.00-10:30        Session 3.1. Independent work by workshop participants to finalise presentation for main Universeum 2018 conference. Computers and printer provided. Coffee and tea making facilities will be available during the morning.

The workshop presentation is planned for 13:45-14:15 (after the lunch break) in the on the first day of the conference (Wed 13 June). The presentation should be 20mins + 10 mins for questions/discussion. The content of the presentation will largely depend on what the delegates want to present, but in general, it should summarise the key activities and/or issues discussed during the first two days of the workshop.

Workshop participants need to remember to take photos, videos etc during whole workshop to have AV material to use for the presentation.

10:50                  Main Universeum Conference start – Kelvin Hall Lecture Theatre, ground floor