Object Loans

Last week’s blog was all about some of the Museum Studies class’s visit to the Gordon Highlanders Museum to view objects for a potential loan. This was a really valuable experience and they enjoyed the opportunity to look around the museum collections. This week they will tell you all about the loan process!

‘Given the nature of our topic we were presented with a great opportunity to work with the Gordon Highlanders Museum. Specialising in the Military History of the Gordon Highlanders Regiment, they are a wonderful museum to have so close for an exhibition on the ‘Scottish Warrior’. Curator Ruth Duncan was happy to help us narrow down the best and most interesting objects she could find to enhance our display and themes.


Taking measurement of the 20th-century uniform

The World Wars and Overseas Soldier groups worked together on the loan since our time periods overlap at the beginning of the 20th century. Firstly, we did some research using the Gordon Highlanders online catalogue to get a feel for what objects they had. We were specifically looking for a WWII gas mask and a 19th century uniform but instead we found a 20th century uniform with interesting medals from several different campaigns. Suitably, the uniform applies to the First World War, while the medals show how far Scottish soldiers had travelled overseas in the period leading up to the ‘Great War’.

Next, museum staff reached out to the Gordon Highlanders to formally arrange a viewing of the objects we had put on our wish list. The museum staff also helped us consolidate our list of potential objects and suggested some objects they thought would fit well with our themes. Then, as discussed on the last blog, we went to the museum and met with the curator of the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Ruth. After this it was up to us to come up with a final list to request for loan. Luckily, Ruth and the rest of the staff at Gordon Highlanders Museum were very obliging and we were allowed to borrow all the objects on our list.


Looking at an embroidered kilt apron shown to us by Ruth

Loans between museums are important and beneficial as the sharing of resources can help build community relationships and allow collections to be seen and enjoyed by a much wider audience. As we want to work in the museum sector, it was interesting to be part of the loan process. This could only have happened with the cooperation of the Gordon Highlanders Museum – so thanks again to Ruth Duncan and also the University of Aberdeen Museums staff.


Stay tuned for more information on the ‘Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology’ and make sure to look out for our special objects in the exhibition!



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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