July 7, 2016

2016 Conference Booking Now Open

This year’s UMG conference, Better Together?, will be held at Reading University on 22nd September 2016.

In a climate of increasing drive towards greater partnership working, the conference will review the benefits, costs and challenges of working together. Focusing on recent civic and university partnerships and international working we will explore different case studies and debate the role of leadership, partner expectations and the practical realities of ensuring positive and sustainable outcomes.

The conference will include key note addresses by Hedley Swain, South East Area Director for Arts Council England and Matthew Hancock MP, Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries in the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

The full programme and booking information are available here.

December 10, 2015

New research demonstrates value of University Museums

New research undertaken by the UMG has demonstrated the continuing importance of university museums in caring for and making accessible collections of national and international significance.  The research relates to those museums currently supported by the HEFCE Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund.

 

Key points from the research include:

  • HEFCE-funded university museums care for, and make accessible, a great wealth of collections of national and international significance. They comprise 2.3% of all Accredited museums in England, but 24% of museum collections that are Designated as being of national and international significance.  In essence, they constitute a distributed collection of equivalent quality to national museums
  • In 2014-15, the £10.5m of HEFCE Museums, Galleries & Collections funding enabled 30 university museums and galleries in England to leverage a total of £42.5m of funding from other external sources (trusts, foundations, research councils, commercial income, philanthropy and donations)
  • In addition, the HEFCE funding leveraged £13.5m of direct support from host universities, giving a total value of £56m of leveraged support at a ratio of over 5:1 to HEFCE funding
  • During the course of academic year 2014-15, this enabled HEFCE-funded university museums to engage with:

4.5 million visitors

207,000 school students

37,000 university students

16,000 further education students

 

And, in addition:

Hold 222 exhibitions and 4,120 public events

Make available 515 national and 141 international loans of 7,938 museum objects

September 19, 2015

Call for nominations

The University Museums Group AGM is taking place on the afternoon of Wednesday, 23 September, as part of the UMG’s 2015 conference: Where Science and Society Meet on 23-24th September at Durham University.

At the AGM, one committee member will be standing down or two will be standing for re-election, and we will be holding elections to fill these vacancies.  We are seeking committee members with a range of experience and skills (such as event organisation, use of social media, PR and advocacy), who are prepared to play an active role in supporting the UMG’s work.

If you would like to be considered – or to nominate another member – for one of these vacancies, you are invited to put forward your nomination to Tonya Nelson, Secretary of the University Museums Group Committee.

Each nomination must include, in a single word document sent as an email attachment:

  • The name of the person being nominated and the member organisation they represent
  • The name of their proposer and his/her member organisation
  • The name of a seconder and his/her member organisation
  • A 250 word statement by the nominee, telling us about their experience and skills and what they will bring to the UMG Committee.

The above information will be circulated to UMG members with the AGM papers.

In the event of there being more nominees than vacancies, an election will be held by ballot at the AGM.  Member organisations who are unable to send a representative to the AGM will be able to nominate a representative of another member organisation or a committee member

Nominations for Committee membership should be emailed to Tonya Nelson at tonya.nelson@ucl.ac.uk by 12 noon on 21 September.

 

March 7, 2015

THE highlights role of University Museums

‘University Museums enjoy global renaissance’ is the headline of a recent article in Times Higher Education looking at the ways in which universities are redefining the role of museums and galleries as cultural providers.

Read the full article here.

 

February 13, 2015

Save the date

23rd -24th September are the dates for the next UMG conference.   This year we are joining with University Museums in Scotland (UMIS) to hold a joint event at Durham University.

This year’s conference theme will be ‘Where Science and Society Meet’.

There is no doubt that the public appetite for science is growing.The interface between science and culture continues to shift and is a constant point of excitement, interest and debate. Arguably science cannot be presented in isolation but as an integral part of our culture, intersecting with the arts and humanities, with museums providing ideal spaces to demonstrate and communicate this.

University museums are pioneering ways to engage audiences in the science research of universities and this conference will explore how these developments are more than advancing the public understanding of science.

Full details of the conference programme and costs will be available soon.

September 20, 2014

Changes to subscription rates

At the UMG AGM in June 2014 a proposal to simplify the subscription scales was agreed.

The old scale was complicated, was not being consistently used and did not allow for individuals to join as members.

The new subscription rates simplify and improve the membership structure.  They are based on the following principles:

  • Membership of UMG should aim to further the reach of UMG within HEIs
  • Large museums/galleries should pay more than small ones
  • Membership scale should aim for transparency in the way that museums/galleries use the scale of memberships
  • The aim should be for a simple scheme what keeps administration to a minimum
  • The new system should aim to increase income from subscription fees, but not to a level that prohibits organisations from joining
  • new categories of individual member and student member should be created

The following new structure was agreed:

University with one participating university museum/gallery £50

University to 2/3 participating university museums/galleries £100

University with 4 or more particpating university museums/galleries £200

Individual members £50

Non-university museum organisations, UMIS and university museums outside the UK  £50

Student members £20

 

The revised subscription form is now available to download from the  JOIN page of the website.

April 9, 2014

UMG elections, AGM and conference 2014

The University Museums Group AGM is taking place on the afternoon of Thursday 12 June, as part of the UMG’s 2014 conference: Digital Dimensions – 12-13 June, Theatre Collection, University of Bristol.  
We are very pleased to have a great programme lined up for the conference, which is part of Universities UK University Week 2014.   Last year’s 25th anniversary Conference and AGM in Oxford was a huge success and very well attended.  Demand this year is expected to be high and spaces are very limited.  Online booking for Digital Dimensions is open, so do book now to avoid disappointment.  You can find details and a link to online booking, by clicking on Events.

At the AGM, three committee members will be standing down or coming up for re-election, and we will be electing UMG members to fill these vacancies.  We are seeking committee members with a range of experience and skills (such as event organisation, use of social media, PR and advocacy), who are prepared to play an active role in supporting the UMG’s work.
If you would like to be considered – or to nominate another member – for one of these vacancies, you are invited to put forward your nomination to Kate Carreno Secretary of the University Museums Group Committee.
Each nomination must include, in a single word document sent as an email attachment:

  • the name of the person being nominated and the member organisation they represent
  • the name of their proposer and his/her member organisation
  • the name of a seconder and his/her member organisation
  • a 300 word statement by the nominee, telling us about their experience and skills and what they will bring to the UMG Committee.

The above information will be circulated to UMG members with the AGM papers.

In the event of there being more nominees than vacancies, an election will be held by ballot at the AGM.  Member organisations who are unable to send a representative to the AGM will be able to nominate a representative of another member organisation or a committee member to vote on their behalf.

This is also to let you know that this year’s AGM will consider updates to subscription levels and the UMG constitution, which have been unchanged since 2009.  Full details will be in the AGM papers.
Nominations for Committee membership should be emailed to Kate Carreno at kc376@cam.ac.uk by 12 noon on Tuesday 29 April.

April 2, 2014

Digital Technology Showcase: call for entries

'How pictures learnt to walk' devised by Dr Birgit Beumers (University of Bristol), Dr Julia Bracegirdle (Bristol School of Animation, University of West England) and Aerian Studios

'How pictures learnt to walk' devised by Dr Birgit Beumers (University of Bristol), Dr Julia Bracegirdle (Bristol School of Animation, University of West England) and Aerian Studios

Digital Technology Showcase: Call for Entries

UNIVERSITY MUSEUMS GROUP (UMG) ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Digital Dimensions

12-13 June 2014

Wickham Theatre, University of Bristol, Bristol

University Museums Group (UMG) is looking to showcase innovative digital projects produced through collaborations between museums and universities at its annual conference, Digital Dimensions .

Have you been involved in a digital project in which university and museum professionals have worked together to:

(1) find a museum application for a digital technology used in a different discipline or that is the result of blue sky research;(2) user test a new digital technology in a museum environment; and/or (3) use university research methods to evaluates the efficacy of a new technology and/or to understand the impact of digital technology on museum practice?

If so, we would like to hear from you!

The Digital Technology Showcase, where selected projects will be presented, will kick off the conference (Thursday, 12 June).  Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their work with conference speakers and attendees, which will include representatives from NESTA, AHRC, Google Culture Institute, ACE and members of the academic and museums community across the UK.

If you would like your project considered for the Digital Technology Showcase, please prepare a 1-page description of your project including: (1) the technology involved; (2) the use of the technology in a museum context; (3) the university and museum collaborators involved; and (4) how your project demonstrates the benefits of university and museum collaborations.  Please also provide images or link to a video showing how your project works in action.  Any university or museum, including local authority, independent or university-based museums, is eligible to apply as long as the project has a substantial component of university/museum collaboration.

Send these materials to Tonya Nelson, Head of UCL Museums and Collections, at tonya.nelson@ucl.ac.uk by 5 May 2014.  Selected participants will be informed by 12 May 2014.  At least one member of your project team should be available to attend the Digital Showcase on 12 June 2014.

March 13, 2014

Understanding Audiences: the popularity of Museum Galleries

Members might be interested in this new report from the Natural Sciences Collections Association Subject Specialist Network detailing the findings of an Arts Council England funded study into the audiences of mixed discipline museums.

The evaluation report offers an overview of visitors’ impressions of the display of different disciplines in mixed museums. Key findings include the gallery types museum visitors describe as their most and least favourite, how preferences are influenced by demographic variables and what aspects of these displays visitors find appealing and off-putting; all key messages for museums containing each gallery type.

The NATSCA hopes that this information will allow us to better understand how natural science galleries are perceived by the public and to allow other Subject Specialist Networks and museums to gain a deeper insight into their audiences.

Website: http://natsca.org/understanding-audiences

Full report: http://www.natsca.org/sites/default/files/publications-full/Evaluation-Report-Museum-Gallery-Preferences.pdf

The findings of this report offer many opportunities for museums with mixed collections as well as colleagues associated with individual disciplines – to better understand their visitors, and what perceptions are held by these visitors. The report is presented in its entirety in order that colleagues have access to the details, but an executive summary is provided at the start.

NatSCA welcomes any responses or questions that arise – please email Jack Ashby and Paolo Viscardi (press@natsca.org).

March 13, 2014

Task Force for the Protection of University Collections

We would like to bring members’ attention to the existence of a Task Force for the Protection of University Collections established in 2009 under the umbrella of the AAMG – Association of Academic Museums and Galleries in the USA.

Catherine Giltrap, Trinity College Dublin, and Steph Scholten, Director of Heritage Collections at The University of Amsterdam have recently joined the Task Force to act as the first European Representatives.

Request for advance notification of risks to university collections in Europe

Catherine and Steph would like to request that UMG and UMIS colleagues inform them of potentially high risk situations where colleagues working with university museums, galleries and collections find themselves, or are aware of others, in a situation where the university is proceeding in a manner that treats the collections as ‘disposable assets’, such as proposing to sell objects or collections for reasons other than benefiting the development of the collections themselves and without due consultation with the appropriate local experts.

While the Task Force has no legal standing, what is offered is professional support at the highest of levels and a willingness to overtly exert pressure in the court of public opinion and to taking steps to make it difficult for universities to contemplate selling their collections for endowment or general operating support.

Please refer to this website for full details: http://www.aamg-us.org/about-us/task-force/

A full list of Task Force Members can be found at: http://www.aamg-us.org/about-us/task-force/members.php

ICOM UMAC resolution on the Protection of University Collections

At the ICOM UMAC meeting in August 2013, UMAC adopted a resolution in support of the work of the Task Force; the resolution is in keeping with ICOM’s Code of Ethics for Museums and the Council of Europe’s recommendation on the governance and management of university heritage, as well as the AAMD (Association of Art Museum Directors, USA) Professional Practices in Art Museums and the AAM (American Alliance of Museums)

Schools and colleges access research expertise and work experience opportunities

 

Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge