Summer Projects at Marischal College

This summer we have had students from the MLitt Museum Studies course working in Marischal College on two projects that will aid the collections in many ways. Here is how the projects are progressing so far:

The collections contains a large amount of Egyptian Shabtis

Shabtis packed by Marloes

Marloes has been involved in the Egyptology collection, working with objects collected by Joseph Pollard. The collection has been in the Marischal Collections Centre since 1906 and her project has involved matching each object with that on an existing list, describing the object and then re-packing them to ensure their security and safety in the stores.

The packing process has been interesting; Marloes has had the chance to explore and examine in detail the impressive collection, including a mummified cat head!

Packing jewellery such as this has taken some skill!

Packing jewellery such as this has taken some skill!

An aspect of the project that Marloes has found to be of interest however is the collector himself, Joseph Pollard:

‘Joseph Pollard was not a very famous man but he is known as a council member of the Council of the Society of Biblical Archaeology and was related to Sir William Robertson Nicoll, the Scottish journalist and editor. As a biblical and history enthusiast he travelled to Egypt and collected objects that are now stored in the Marischal Collections Centre.’

Marloes hopes to do some extra research on this collector as not much is known about him and we are interested to see what she finds!

Margaret Hasluck textile collections

Margaret Hasluck textile collections

Alongside this project in the Egyptology collection another student, Maaike, has been working with the Margaret Hasluck textiles during her placement. Her tasks include removing these amazing fabrics from their current display, documenting them and packing them for storage. This is being done for their own protection as they are currently at risk from other factors such as light and the possibility of pests as they have not been touched in fifteen years.

Once again, Maaike has found the collector of these items to be of real interest:

‘Margaret Hasluck was an amazing woman who travelled a lot. She was a scholar who focused her research on Albania. As a travelling fellow (in the Wilson Travelling fellowship) she collected many objects, including textiles for the museums, but also collected many objects that appealed to her personal interests.’

The textiles have impressive patterns

The textiles have impressive patterns

‘The collection contains many different things such as amulets, shoes, cradles, satchels, towels and vases. The collection also has many examples of embroidery work of different countries such as Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and of course Albania.’

Her collections were donated to the museum after Margaret grew ill in the 1940s and the museum were very pleased to take her donations.

Many of the patterns are extremely intricate

Many of the patterns are extremely intricate

The work that both Maaike and Marloes are doing is really beneficial to the collections and will ensure their safety and security for many more years to come. It also means that we get a chance to see these impressive collections before they are stored away for safe keeping again!


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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