Conference 2018 – Foreign Exchange?

Foreign exchange? University museums and international engagement

University of Cambridge, 3 July 2018

University Museum of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge

Booking is now closed.


University museum collections originate from many countries. Over decades and in some cases centuries, they were created and curated through scientific fieldwork and collecting that ranged worldwide. In the present, those interested in studying collections and in borrowing art works and specimens for analysis and exhibition represent, like our students, many nations. International engagement is anything but foreign to us.


At the University Museums Group’s 2016 conference, Matt Hancock, now Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, affirmed that museums and universities are ‘absolutely central to our post-Brexit future, open and engaged with the whole world, progressive and positive in shaping how Britain sees herself and is seen the world over.’ Universities similarly express ambitions to contribute globally. In 2018, academic and cultural collaboration seems more urgent than ever, yet also more difficult, as threats to global peace and security multiply.


The University Museums Group’s 2018 conference explored how university museums can contribute to, and even lead, universities’ efforts to engage internationally. It considered how smaller as well as larger museums can participate in, and benefit from, international programmes.


Download the full programme here: UMG Conference Programme 2018 final

Presentations are available to download from the following speakers:


Keynote Address
Diane Lees, Director-General, Imperial War Museum

Panel: The Funding Environment

Art Fund and the International Work of University Museums
Rachael Browning, Head of Programmes, Art Fund

Funding for International Travel
Dana Andrew, Executive Director, ICOM UK

The EU Landscape: Where Do We Go From Here?
Laura Carletti, European & International Manager, Research Operations Office, University of Cambridge

University Museums: Opportunities and Challenges for International Research
Rodney Harrison, AHRC Heritage Priority Leadership Fellow

Lightning Case Studies

Walking with the Buddha: curating a UK research-led exhibition in Taiwan
Rachel Barclay, Curator, Oriental Museum, University of Durham

Experiments in Collaboration: commissioning Indigenous and Adivasi sculpture in India
Mark Elliot, Senior Curator (Anthropology), Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge

“The context of our work is the world”
Henry McGhie, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester

MicroPasts: Crowd- and community-fuelled archaeological and museum research
Daniel Pett, Head of Digital and IT, The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

A New China Gallery at Manchester Museum
Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, Manchester Museum, University of Manchester

Science in University Museums: an international initiative
Paul Smith, Director, Museum of Natural History, University of Oxford








Over 170 university museums and collections in the UK

More than 100 open to the public and 77 Accredited Museums

Holding some of the nation’s most important collections

In England and Wales, we hold 30% of designated collections

Both part of a University and part of the Museum sector

From major visitor attractions to research & teaching collections


Our collections guide and inform HE research as well as community outreach and accessibility.

UCL Qatar


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