A staff post by Dr Maria Economou, Senior Lecturer in Museum Studies at The Hunterian.
The Hunterian has hosted the most successful Universeum Network Meeting to date, at Kelvin Hall on 13 – 15 June 2018.
Universeum is the European Academic Heritage Network, bringing together the continent’s university museums. It is concerned with academic heritage in its broadest sense, including university collections, museums, archives, libraries, botanical gardens, astronomical observatories, and university buildings of historical, artistic and scientific significance.
In 2018 The Hunterian welcomed the largest Universeum delegation ever, representing over 120 institutions, including 65 presenters sharing papers and posters on the theme of Working Together: Partnerships, Co-creation, Co-curation. The Glasgow Universeum this year attracted delegates beyond Europe, from as far afield as Sri Lanka, Colombia and Australia.
Additionally, a pre-conference training workshop was organised on 11-13 June, coordinated by Maria Economou (assisted by Monica Callaghan), and titled University Object Journeys: From the stores to sharing with different user communities. This was attended by 16 selected PhD students, early and mid-career staff from universities and cultural organisations across Europe, including two from the University of Glasgow, Alicia Hughes and Martha Innes who helped us co-curate the workshop. Participants learnt at sessions delivered by staff across The Hunterian (Monica Callaghan, Mungo Campbell, Malcolm Chapman, Anne Dulau, Ruth Fletcher, Lizzie O’Neill, Nicky Reeves, Lola Sanchez-Jauregui, Steph Scholten), Special Collections (Julie Gardham and Bob Maclean) and the rest of the University (Johanna Green, Hilary Young and Emilia Sosnowska from Information Studies and Donna Yates from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research) about the many facets of object engagement, including objects’ provenance, working internationally and collaboratively in exhibitions, student engagement, social media for promoting the collections, and digital storytelling.
Both the training workshop and the main Universeum conference showcased the potential of Kelvin Hall; established Glasgow firmly as an international leader in collections-based learning and research; and strengthened important international partnerships and links.
In a Scottish twist we enjoyed showing our European counterparts how to dance a reel at our celebratory Ceilidh supported by the University Museums in Scotland (UMIS) group at a civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost at Glasgow City Chambers.
You can get a taste of the workshop and conference activities at the conference’s photogallery and you can find details of the programme here. Most presentations were live-streamed and have been uploaded on YouTube edu, You can also watch a video which gives an overview of the impact of the workshop and conference.