University’s historic items on show at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Dr John S. Reid, Hon. Senior Lecturer in Physics and Honorary Curator of the University’s historic scientific instrument collection tells us about an exhibition commemorating Sir David Gill – Aberdeen’s most famous astronomer – which has opened in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, featuring scientific instruments from the University Museums and letters from Special Collections.

GillAdelphi2 (2)

Mural of David Gill, and the telescope lent to the exhibition- Aldelphi lane. Murals undertaken by the Owlcat Artist Collective as part of the Silver City Street Revival project. Photo by John reid

David Gill was an Aberdonian student at Marischal College in the 1850s and an Lld of the University of Aberdeen.  He went on to become one of the most notable scientists of his age. You can find our more about Sir David Gill here. A century after his death, an exhibition to celebrate his life has opened at the Maritime Museum and will run until 29th March, featuring items from the university and other material from London, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The exhibition has been co-curated by Dr John S. Reid, along with staff at Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums.

John with instrument (2)

Dr. John Reid securing the pillars of the transit telescope loaned to the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, during installation of ‘Sir David Gill 1843-1914: Aberdeen’s Royal Astronomer’.

Amongst the items loaned from the university is the telescope erected by Gill and Professor David Thomson in the Cromwell Tower Observatory at King’s College that changed Gill’s life.  David Gill set up the first network of accurate public clocks in Aberdeen in the 1860s but internationally became famous for his stellar photography, for precision measurements on stars, for progressing the geodetic survey of South Africa and for coordinating multi-observatory, multi-national research.


See here  for further details about the exhibition. The Public Engagement with Research Unit at the University is hosting a ‘Discovery Gallery’ series of talks at the Maritime Museum to accompany the exhibition.



Objects on loan in their cases at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum



About uoamuseums

The University of Aberdeen's Museums include King’s Museum and the University's Zoology Museum. The museums can claim to be Scotland's oldest, with records of museums and collections as far back as the late 17th century. Thanks to their status as a Recognised Collection of national significance, the Zoology Museum’s displays are currently being improved, while King's Museum hosts changing exhibitions drawn from across the collections, particularly those formerly in Marischal Museum. Visitors are warmly welcomed to the museums, and there are no charges for admission. Marischal College now houses the Museums Collections Centre, caring for and conserving many of the collections.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s