MLitt Object Selection and Research Team

Our MLitt Museum Studies students responsible for object selection and research tell us about their role in creating the newest exhibition to go on display in King’s Museum:

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Marischal College, Aberdeen

‘As responsible for object selection and research, we have the task of choosing objects for the exhibition and working out how they link to our theme. Although this can be difficult, it does mean that we are able to explore the fantastic stores of the Museum Collections Centre at Marischal College!

For us the process began with a lot of research. We were given the exhibition theme of Sunset Song, which gave us a broad starting point for our research; North East Scotland in the early 1900s.

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Exploring the collections

Farming life is clearly a prominent these in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s novel and the University of Aberdeen Museums collections contain a great deal of agricultural artefacts amongst their collection of over 300,000 objects. We knew that we would be able to find items to fit this aspect of the novel, our bigger challenge was to find some which would reflect the rest of the book and give our exhibition a bit more depth and history.Once the team had decided upon the specific topics to be included in the exhibition our job became a lot easier! Social issues explored in the novel became a key part of our exhibition and this gave us a wide choice of possible objects that could be included. We were able to look specifically for artefacts that would fit in with these ideas and portray the exhibition’s story in the most interesting way.

Our search for objects mainly consisted of digging through boxes in the stores at Marischal, which was a lot more fun that we imagined as every box held new and exciting items! It was really interesting to have a first-hand look at the objects and then research them and think how they could be interpreted in informative and interesting ways.

Other than spending time in the stores, we also spent a large amount of time searching the Museum catalogue. This was an important tool as it gave us some information about the objects we had seen and allowed us to understand the objects some more. This resource if available to everyone and allows you to get access to the entire collection!


We had a great time searching for and selecting object for the exhibition and we hope that  you are excited to see the fantastic objects that we found! Come along from Tuesday 7th June 2016 in King’s Museum to see how we have interpreted some of these fascinating objects in our exhibition The Land Endures: Bringing Sunset Song to Life.’

Written by Museum Studies Student Megan Fowler







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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