Smithsonian Institution, USA

Smithsonian Institution, USA

Strategic partnership with the Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Glasgow in June 2018. 

Thia strategic partnership continues the unparalleled access to historic collections in Scotland and the USA taught by leading academics, who are also crossing the Atlantic in both directions to purse major research collaborations.The new agreement covers everything from antiquities to astrophysics, and from preservation of natural ecosystems to the protection of culture heritage including both institutions’ Whistler collections and worldwide research in traditional Pacific barkcloth.

The Smithsonian (1846) is the largest museum, education and research organisation in the world, with 19 museums, nine research centres, 154 million objects and an annual budget of $1.5bn (for fiscal year 2018). ‌‌

The Smithsonian and the University of Glasgow first began collaborating in 1993 on their world renowned collections of work by American-born artist James McNeill Whistler.‌ But this relationship goes back to the founder of the Smithsonian – James Smithson who visited the University of Glasgow as a young man and this informed his idea to establish a cultural institution in America to the “increase‌ and diffusion of knowledge”. 

More information

An important outcome of this high-level support is a funded Early Career Mobility Scheme. The purpose of this is to foster stronger links between research groups at the two universities, with the aim of developing joint publications and research grant funding.

University of Glasgow staff wanting to visit the Smithsonian to work on a collaboration can apply to the International Partnership Development Fund.