Transatlantic Ties: Glasgow strengthens bond with the Smithsonian Institution

Transatlantic Ties: Glasgow strengthens bond with the Smithsonian Institution

Issued: Fri, 08 Jun 2018 14:31:00 BST

Staff and students from the University of Glasgow and Smithsonian already working in partnership or on placement in Washington DC in Whistler's Peacock Room. Picture Michael Barnes

The University of Glasgow and the Smithsonian Institution have entered into a major cross Atlantic partnership agreement this week.

This is a significant development in the relationship between two of the most prominent research and teaching institutions in the world.

The new 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 institutions signed the agreements earlier this week at a special ceremony held in Washington DC. The Strategic Partnership agreement builds upon a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two institutions in 2016.

The new agreement will also extend staff research collaborations and exchanges as well as student internships and work placements.

The signatories will be Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow and Smithsonian Provost Dr. John Davis, who is also Under Secretary for Museums, Education, and Research at the Institution.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, who also met Glasgow students currently on work placement at the Smithsonian, said: “The University of Glasgow is proud of our reputation as a leading place of learning, teaching and research in Scotland. But at the same time we have always had an international outlook.

“This agreement will significantly develop and enhance our close working partnership with colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution as well as strengthening our bonds of friendship.”  ‌

Smithsonian Provost Dr. John Davis said: “This strategic partnership between the Smithsonian and the University of Glasgow builds on the strong bonds these two great institutions already share. We look forward to many more ‌years of collaborating and exchanging ideas on the important issues facing our world today.”




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