The activities of the Centre include:
- Digitisation Projects: digitisation projects on the sixteenth-century French emblem, Alciato and the Italian emblem that make primary resources available to the world-wide scholarly community. These sites have recorded over 7 million hits.
- Glasgow Emblem Studies: a themed book series distributed by Droz of Geneva whose first volume appeared in 1996.
- European Comic Art: published by Berghahn of Oxford, this journal is co-edited from Glasgow, Leicester and Miami OH.
- Fellowships: since 1987 the Stirling Maxwell Fellowship has enabled visiting scholars from across the globe to visit and research in Glasgow. In 2012 the Stirling Maxwell Fellowship has been supplemented by Melion and Massing Fellowships that have brought early career scholars to Glasgow.
- Seminar Series: the Glasgow Emblem Group hosts a series of seminars—generally six per year—that allows visiting researchers to present their work to us.
- Conferences: Glasgow has hosted numerous emblem-related conferences, principally the 1987, 1990 and 2011 Society for Emblem Studies International Conferences. In 2013 the Stirling Maxwell Centre will host the International Graphic Novel and Bande Dessinée Society Joint Conference.
- Exhibitions: in partnership with the Hunterian the 2011 exhibition Breaking the Renaissance Code: Emblems and Emblem Books received a four-star rating and ‘Hit List’ ranking from The List. Scotland and the Birth of Comics is in preparation for 2015.
- Research and Grant Capture: members of the Centre and its visiting Fellows are actively involved in text/image research projects whose subjects range from Spanish paintings to early photography and French comics. A number of research strands will be brought together under the umbrella of the Pictures of an Exotic Past project for which major external funding will be sought.
- Teaching: the Centre participates in research-led teaching from Ordinary level upwards, including Honours options, a strand in the the School's MLitt programme and supervision at MPhil and PhD levels.
The activities of the Stirling Maxwell Centre build upon unique and recognised assets whilst widening our scope so as to underline research in areas of modern visual culture. Our research is multidisciplinary, bringing together Modern Languages, History of Art, English and Scottish Literatures, Histories, History of Science, Medical Humanities, Humanities Computing (HATII), Medieval and Renaissance Studies (GCMRS), the Hunterian and Glasgow University Library, as well as working closely with external bodies (Glasgow Museums, Historic Scotland) and key partners across the world (University of Illinois, Getty Institute).