The Collections Lab brings together scholars, specialists, librarians and curators to discuss the challenges and opportunities of researching, teaching and engaging with diverse collections. It is a forum for communicating good practice, forging collaborations and ensuring that the groundbreaking collections-related work taking place across the university is shared and recognised.

In pursuit of this mission, the Lab organises events to showcase collections-related research and to discuss issues including theories and practices of collecting, pedagogy, exhibitions, cataloguing and discoverability, public engagement, and knowledge exchange. We focus both on Glasgow's own uniquely rich collections and on the wide-ranging projects conducted by university researchers using archives and collections worldwide.

Join Collections Lab

If you'd like to become a member of the Collections Lab, please send an email to stating, "I would like to join the Collections Lab and receive news and events relevant to the community."

Events 2020

Showcase Presentations

When: Friday 10 January 2020, 1pm to 5pm

Where: Kelvin Hall Lecture Theatre

Description: Showcase event to highlight the range and diversity of collections-related research going on across the university.  This event will follow the five-minute presentation format of the successful 'Collections, Then and Now' event held in October 2017 in order to allow as many people as possible to introduce their interests.  Collections Lab Showcase Programme


Collections Residency

When: 2 July 2019

Where: Kelvin Hall Teaching Lab 


Our aim with the Collections Residency is to build community between key stakeholders across the university whose work has close ties to the Lab's mission, and to plan the Lab's future directions for the coming year and beyond. The residency--a day of working together with materials from various kinds of collections--provides an opportunity to explore our diverse approaches to collections through conversation and collaboration. 

10:00 - 12:10 Welcome & Workshop with objects in museum collections, led by Dahlia Porter and Lola Sanchez-Jauregui  
12:10  - 12:45 Tour of the Stores at Kelvin Hall, led by Mungo Campbell
14:00 - 15:00 Book objects and book collections, led by Matt Sangster and Dahlia Porter
15:00 - 16:15 Digital collections and digitization projects, led by Lorna Hughes and Maria Economou
16:30 - 17:30 Collections Lab future directions
17:30 - 18:30 Wine reception

Teaching With Collections

Lecture and Discussion: Thursday 21 March, 17:15, Kelvin Hall Lecture Theatre
With Dr. Giovanna Vitelli, the former Director of the University Engagement Programme at the Ashmolean Museum.

Workshop With Objects: Friday 22 March, 10:00-12:00, Kelvin Hall Teaching Lab

These events are open to academic staff, post grads, curators, and collections management staff. Whether you are curious about how to integrate a collections-based session into an existing course, or want to know more about collaborating on a new course, these events will give you practical strategies and ideas for teaching with collections. In the lecture, Dr. Vitelli will discuss her work with the grant-supported University Engagement Programme at the Ashmolean; the workshop will engage participants with sample exercises.


Collections Lab Hunter Exhibition Tour and Discussion

Monday 26 November, 2018, 14:00-15:00, Hunterian Art Gallery

Tour and discussion of 'William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum' exhibition, led by curator with curator Lola Sanchez-Jauregui, followed by tea and a discussion of collections-related research at Glasgow, which will feed into Collections Lab events in 2019.

Collections Then & Now Conference

Thursday 17 May - Friday 18 May 2018, Hunterian Art Gallery lecture theatre and Henry Heaney room, 12th floor library

Public program of lectures and roundtables focused on building partnerships and collaborations between museum, library and academic staff to advance collections-related research at University of Glasgow.

Keynote lectures by:

Jane Pickering, Director of Harvard University Museums of Science and Culture
Handle with care: glass flowers, partnerships, and diverse museum cultures at Harvard

Kim Sloan, Curator of British Drawings and Watercolours before 1880 and Francis Finlay Curator of the Enlightenment Gallery, British Museum
Displaying, teaching and researching Enlightenment collections in the British Museum

Approaches to Objects: Methods and Themes

Monday 12 February 2018, 12:45-17:00, Kelvin Hall Lecture Theatre and Teaching Labs

Join us for a series of object-based workshops, methods sessions, and research discussion clusters led by staff and curators from across the university. Object-based workshops will focus on material drawn from the Hunterian collections, providing an opportunity to investigate practical and theoretical questions about how we study and work with collections. Methods-based sessions will focus on practical and technical methods of analyzing objects in collections. Discussion sessions are designed to be informal and allow a group to explore issues around teaching with objects and foment potential research collaborations around shared interests. 

Collections Then and Now Research Showcase

Tuesday 23 October 2017, 11.45-17.30, Kelvin Hall lecture theatre 

A program of 40 five-minute presentations by University of Glasgow curatorial and academic staff and graduate students will showcase the diverse and innovative collections-related research being undertaken across the University. 

Associated Staff: