Research in Museums: Museums in Research


The eighth biennial University Museums in Scotland conference will be held in the University of St Andrews on 31st October and 1st November 2013.

This conference will focus on the role of museums in academic research and how it can be fostered and managed.

There is a long tradition of scholarly research on museum collections, and much recent research focusing on visitor studies and the social role of museums. The place of research in museums and the value of museums to researchers is coming under scrutiny, with the attitude of different institutions to its role and value increasingly divergent.

Questions to be addressed could include how links can be fostered between researchers, students and museums; the role of museums in developing funded research projects; the development of local, national and international research partnerships and collaborations; the role of museums in public engagement with research; whether museums based in academic institutions have a special role; the impact of the Research Excellence Framework; and the place of museum staff as researchers.

Proposals are invited for individual papers of 20 minutes. Proposals should take the form of a maximum 250 word outline of the topic to be covered and the name and contact details of the proposer. All proposals must be received by 31st March 2013, with the conference booking form available from May 2013.

The conference is being hosted by the University of St Andrews. The University has three Accredited museums: MUSA (The Museum of the University of St Andrews), the Gateway Galleries (temporary exhibitions) and the Bell Pettigrew Museum (zoology), plus the MUSA Collections Centre, an open-access store and research centre. The Heritage, Chemistry and Historic Scientific Instrument Collections are Recognised Collections of National Significance.

More information is available from, and proposals should be sent to:

Dr Helen C. Rawson
Senior Curator and Acting Director
Museum Collections Unit
87 North Street
University of St Andrews
St Andrews
KY16 9AE

01334 462413
[email protected]