A look back at 2014

Well, another year is coming to an end and it’s time to look back at 2014! We cannot believe how quickly it’s gone…

We opened in January with the exhibition: ‘Fiji, Scotland and the making of Empire’ an exhibition co-curated by our Steven Hooper from the Fijian Art Project based in the University of East Anglia. As well as showing some important objects for the first time in many years, the exhibition also revealed the results of the latest research from the Pacific Collections Review partnership which involved National Museums Scotland, Perth Museum and Glasgow Museums. Next year many of our Fijian objects will be exhibited in museums across Europe as part of the Fijian Art Project.


Night at the Museums 2014 was one of the most successful to date, with over 1500 people filling the Zoology Museum on a May evening. Staff and volunteers worked hard to deliver a fun packed night at numerous venues around campus. The theme was Pirates and many adventures were had, including bringing out some treasure for people to see and hold.  As you can see, some staff took being a pirate very seriously! Gillian is already working hard to make 2015 Night at the Museums just as successful and fun.


By June two of our Recognition Fund projects were nearing completion after a lot of hard work by staff and volunteers. The Scientific Instrument Collections project uncovered some hidden gems in our collections including an Edison Standard Phonograph, while the Zoology Museum renovation project completely transformed the gallery spaces. Both projects were possible due to the University of Aberdeen Museums having a Recognised Collection which means we were able to secure funding. The Recognition Scheme ensures Scotland’s most important collections are identified, cared for, protected and promoted to wider audiences; it is managed by Museum Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

We had our first year of the new Museum Studies course, with nine students graduating in November this year. The students were successful in curating the exhibition, Victorian Time: Spirit of the Age, which has been in King’s Museum since June and ends at Christmas. Our second batch of MLitt students started in August and we can’t wait to see what they curate in June 2015!


We said goodbye to some members of staff! Our Museum Galleries Scotland intern Hannah Clarke finished off her year’s internship with us in September. Our Conservator Nicole Stahl, moved back to Germany after three years with the Museums and Shona Elliott our Collections Curator left after 10 years of service in the University. Finally, in November, Laura Beare our Social Media guru said cheerio after a very successful year setting up and maintaining our online presence. Laura has made the staff do some pretty wacky things for social media as seen below and long may it continue. They will all be missed!


It wasn’t all sad news however as in the summer we were joined by our Aberdeen Intern Ellen, and Caroline Dempsey joined us as Conservator.

And finally, we would like to say a big thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers for their help behind the scenes, at events and their wonderful lunchtime talks! Also a thank you to all who took part and attended our evening lecture programme.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to welcoming you to the museums in 2015!

The Museum Team

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.
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