Collections at university museums such as The Hunterian will share £3.6m of funding

Published: 9 May 2018

Internationally important collections at nine Scottish universities including UofG's Hunterian will share the funding.

A students studying artefacts in the Hunterian Museum

Collections at university museums such as The Hunterian will share £3.6 million of funding over three years, it has been announced.

The Hunterian, as Scotland's largest university museum, will receive £2.178 million of the Museums, Galleries and Collections grant. 

The funding was announced by Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.

The Hunterian is one of the top five university museums in the UK, caring for over 1.5 million items. Its collections are encyclopaedic in nature, ranging from geological specimens and Roman Scotland artefacts to Mackintosh furniture. They are as a whole formally recognised as being of national importance.

University museums in Scotland look after over two million items which account for around 18% of Scotland’s national collection. They include the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Collection at the Glasgow School of Art, a collection of musical instruments at the University of Edinburgh and a collection of historic scientific instruments at the University of St Andrews.

John Kemp, interim chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Scottish university museums are an important educational and cultural resource for the nation. This funding is a significant investment in the valuable work that goes on there and will also support the museums’ ambition for the future in areas such as digital technology.”

Steph Scholten, Director of The Hunterian, said: “We are delighted to receive this indispensable continuing support from the Scottish Funding Council, which will enable us to continue moving forward as one of the world’s leading university museums.”

The Museums, Galleries and Collections grant is £1.2m for three academic years beginning 2018-19. The funding will be managed by the Scottish Funding Council.

The Hunterian is one of the world's leading University museums and one of Scotland’s greatest cultural assets.

Built on Dr William Hunter’s founding bequest, The Hunterian collections include scientific instruments used by James Watt, Joseph Lister and Lord Kelvin; outstanding Roman artefacts from the Antonine Wall; major natural and life sciences holdings; Hunter’s own extensive anatomical teaching collection; one of the world’s greatest numismatic collections and impressive ethnographic objects from Captain Cook’s Pacific voyages.

The Hunterian is also home to one of the most distinguished public art collections in Scotland and features the world’s largest permanent display of the work of James McNeill Whistler, the largest single holding of the work of Scottish artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) and The Mackintosh House, the reassembled interiors from his Glasgow home.

The universities that will share the grant are:

  • Aberdeen
  • Dundee
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Heriot-Watt
  • Robert Gordon University
  • St Andrews
  • Stirling

First published: 9 May 2018

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