MUSEUMS & COLLECTIONS
Annual Report 11/12
Museums & Collections Annual Report 11/12
02 Introduction 03 Our mission 05 Research 09 Teaching & learning 13 Collections 15 Engagement 20 Profile 21 International 22 UCL courses using the collections this year 24
Publications by museum staff
02 Introduction This has been an exceptionally busy and creative year for UCL Museums. Especially pleasing this year were the increases in the number of public visits to the museums, which were up 22% on the last comparable year to more than 54,000. We also saw significant increases in student use of our collections – up by 58% on last year to more than 8,000. We began to employ student engagers – an experiment which is proving to be a winning one both for students and for our visitors; for many it is their first chance to speak directly to someone undertaking research. We undertook a major restructure to consolidate our collections care activity and this is beginning to deliver real benefits for our planning and monitoring of spaces; crucial if we are to care for UCL’s world class collections for future use. We also began to devise a comprehensive evaluation framework for our activity, and concluded that we wanted to see ourselves as ‘an influencing organisation’. This year also saw the first steps to implement the UCL Bloomsbury Masterplan, and feasibility studies undertaken to create a wonderful new display space at the heart of UCL – the Octagon Gallery – and to move the Petrie Museum to new premises. Meanwhile our international activity continues to expand and diversify.
Sally MacDonald Director, UCL Museums & Collections
UCL Museums & Collections will be a world class centre of object-based research and teaching, dedicated to developing and sharing knowledge for the benefit of UCL, of London and of global audiences. We will redefine the university museum.
Driving and monitoring progress
Our vision for 2015
• UCL will see us as core to its research and teaching, and an integral part of the student experience.
• The primary audience for all of our work is UCL students and staff
• All our collections will be safe and accessible. • We will be well-known for running experimental exhibition and learning spaces and ‘cultural laboratories’, influencing other museum practice. • We will be recognised as expert in facilitating academic-public dialogue, in generating interdisciplinary research and in delivering research impact.
Our six key aims are driven forward by six highly committed staff working groups, which include staff working at all levels of responsibility and across all collections. They develop action plans for each aim and ensure they are taken forward, overseen by our management team. In the following pages we report briefly on progress against each of our key aims, with a series of performance indicators.
The Petrie and Grant Museums and the UCL Art Museum will also serve: • Other higher education users • Immediate local audiences in Camden and Islington • Source communities for the collections both in London and internationally • Primary and secondary pupils at widening participation target schools and feeder schools in north London
We value • experimentation • knowledge • interdisciplinarity • engagement
We will initiate internal and external dialogue, develop resources to support collections-based research, and facilitate funded projects meeting UCL’s Grand Challenges and the impact agenda
“High quality: I was able to collect all the data I needed”
06 This year our focus has been on developing resources and capacity to partner with our academic colleagues to help deliver research impact. We have developed and put online a costed ‘impact offer’ to help those preparing research grants. We have also greatly expanded the number of projects – exhibitions and events that we deliver collaboratively with UCL academics in order to assist with research impact.
For example, this year the Art Museum worked on the following collaborative projects:
Word & Image: Early Modern
Treasures at UCL; with the UCL Centre for Early Modern Exchanges and UCL Special Collections.
Rousseau 300; with the UCL
Centre for Transnational History and UCL Special Collections.
Vincula; UCL Slade School
of Fine Art.
One Day in the City; with
UCL English Language & Literature and UCL Special Collections.
Drawing Over the Colour
Line: Geographies of Art and Cosmopolitan Politics in London 1919-39; with UCL Geography (AHRC funded).
The department’s own research strength centres on research by Deputy Director Dr Helen Chatterjee, focusing on the therapeutic and enrichment value of handling and discussing museum objects as a means of improving health and wellbeing for those in hospital and long term residential care. Further follow-on funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has enabled this work to continue and to expand activity with a wide range of museum and healthcare partners nationally. There has been a pleasing rise in the number of researchers using our collections and increasingly we are seeing and supporting cross-disciplinary research. For example, researchers used the Institute of Archaeology collections to aid their study of a wide range of topics, including:
Lithics from Laussel, France
Neolithic pottery, Balkans
Soil samples, Tell Abu Hureyra, Syria
Ptolemaic jewellery, Egypt
Photographs of Italy
for a children’s novel
Peer reviewed staff publications:
Other staff publications:
851 796 1,127 Impact exhibitions or activities with UCL academics:
Research applications submitted:
Conference papers given:
12 10 14 9
Uses of online object catalogues:
Teaching and learning
We will advocate the pedagogical value of learning with objects – through research and by building networks with students and colleagues to extend the use of our collections in teaching – and will pioneer object-based e-learning.
“I found it really helpful – and the professors and staff were amazing, both willing to engage with the topic and in making our experience so much better.”
10 This year we have put a real emphasis on object-based learning and building the use of our collections by UCL students. The work of our Object-Based Learning Teaching Fellow and the appointment of two new Teaching and Research Curators has enabled us to make rapid progress. The greatly increased student use of collections this year is largely due to these developments, but also to our improved ability to record usage. New videos about using the collections in teaching have been created and posted on UCL’s Teaching and Learning portal. We have worked with UCL’s Centre for Advanced Learning & Teaching to deliver object-based learning training sessions for our teaching staff, and have developed and run similar sessions for peer-assisted learning mentors. We have developed a second year core module for the new BASc programme, scheduled to run from next academic year, and several sessions to enable departments that have previously not used collections (such as Italian) to begin to do so.
Working with University of Reading Museums we were successful in winning JISC funding for a project that will generate up to 15 new collections-based e-resources. For the first time we surveyed students about their experiences of object-based learning and the value they place on it, and were delighted to receive highly positive results. The most compelling result of this study is that 67% of students either agreed or strongly agreed that object-based learning is a more effective way of learning than listening to a talk or lecture. For example, student feedback on Petrie curator Stephen Quirke’s core Masters course in Egyptian Archaeology gave an overall score of 4.8 (out of a possible 5). Student comments included approval of museum as learning environment, and of critically aware object-based learning.
UCL courses using collections:
Non-UCL Higher Education uses of collections:
Research applications submitted:
UCL students volunteering for museums and collections:
New departments contacted with view to using collections:
UCL student uses of collections:
Volunteering hours by UCL students:
2,397 2,679 Student societies contacted with a view to collaboration:
We will centralise collections management and care processes and resources, plan spaces and consolidate knowledge to enable effective physical and digital access to all collections and to maximise their use.
“There was so much to see, it was very inspiring and it’s nice having someone who knows the collection to help pick out what to see.”
14 This year a restructuring of our conservation and collections care areas has enabled us to consolidate and increase activity. We have purchased new shared equipment and materials and set up a centralised pest monitoring system, and a new environmental monitoring system in the Grant Museum. Priority areas for conservation have included pathology teaching specimens, and photography archives at risk. Work to ensure the final collections are transferred to our collections management system is almost complete.
The chart opposite summarises the storage and environmental conditions, recording the percentage stored in desirable environments. The changes from last year are the result of: faulty air conditioning in the Petrie Museum; a faulty humidifier in the Art Museum; improvements to emergency planning arrangements in the Geology and Archaeology collections and a considerable improvement to the Grant Museum resulting from the move to the new accommodation and repairs to the storage areas.
% of collection stored in desirable environments (security, environment, pest control, working environment):
We will develop experimental spaces and activities where we use our collections and skills to engage sustainably with our local communities and target schools, and help UCL colleagues and students to do so, in order to promote social inclusion.
â€œIt opened my eyes to a new era of history and to a new aspect of cultureâ€?
18 This is the first full year for the Grant Museum in its new accommodation, and the significantly higher annual visitor numbers as well as the growth in the number of museum Friends, reflect this. As usual, the museums staged a wide variety of events aimed at students, young people, families and schools. For example, Grant Museum events included: film nights; balloon debates, lectures (on and off-site); panel discussions; treasure hunts; tours; panel games; specimen-based workshops; evening drinks receptions; specimen-based themed activity days (on and off site); family activity days; art classes and curriculum linked sessions. The Art Museum staged 11 lunchtime pop-up exhibitions, attracting 270 visitors.
Despite reduced staffing levels on the Outreach side, we have managed to increase the numbers of primary school pupils reached through our outreach programmes. It is hoped to build this substantially in the coming year. This year we initiated our programme of student engagers, under which we recruited eight research students to work on a rota in the public museums. This scheme started in the spring term and is working extremely well. Research students report that discussing their research with the public has helped shaped their research questions as well as hone their engagement skills, and visitors clearly enjoy talking with students about their research.
Regular exhibitions featuring UCL’s teaching, research and public engagement activity have been shown in public areas, led by the Exhibitions Officer, with further exhibitions mounted within the museums. A feasibility study was undertaken for a new gallery – the Octagon Gallery – to be located directly beneath the university’s iconic dome. This gallery will transform our ability to showcase UCL collections in the heart of the campus. A further feasibility study into the move of the Petrie Museum was also undertaken. New entrance signage for the Art Museum has resulted in significantly increased visitor numbers. UCL’s most visited display, the Jeremy Bentham auto-icon, was substantially upgraded, with new lighting, seating and interpretation including a touchscreen display.
Primary school children in target schools engaged through outreach:
Visitors to offsite exhibitions and events:
Public visits (public, schools, lifelong learners) to museums:
We will raise our profile by communicating our services and achievements to UCL colleagues and key external audiences, largely via social media and a strong online presence.
“We discussed something I wouldn’t normally engage with”
22 Our social media engagement is strengthening, with greatly increased numbers of Facebook fans and Twitter followers and more than 2,000 blog hits each month. This year the Grant Museum won the Innovation Award at the Museum and Heritage Awards for the QRator interactive labels, developed in partnership with the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. This has provided an excellent publicity platform for our digital developments.
Closer working with UCLâ€™s Communications & Marketing and Development & Alumni Relations departments have had very positive results. We have just introduced a â€˜donateâ€™ button onto our website and are increasingly working together to produce corporate gifts, including prints commissioned by UCL Art Museum.
Mentions in any media (aside from standard listings):
24 International Strategy We will contribute to UCL’s International Strategy, using our collections, knowledge and skills to develop cultural ties with UCL’s key partners.
Professor Thilo Rehren Director UCL-Qatar
“High quality 3D digital replicas of museum collections can overcome geographic barriers that have limited the ability of heritage professionals from different countries to work together to better understand material heritage.”
25 This year, we have continued to support the development of the new UCL campus in Qatar, focusing particularly on recruitment of key staff, mentoring the development of the outreach programme and designing an exhibition featuring UCL research in the area of 3D imaging technology and its application to museology, conservation and archaeology.
Heritage Without Borders (www.heritagewithoutborders.org), the spin-out social enterprise established in June 2010, undertook its first projects, running capacity building training programmes in Bosnia and Turkmenistan.
We also created an ‘international champions’ programme, under which four staff were identified as key contacts for our links with UCL’s offshore campuses in Qatar, Australia and the major partnership in Kazakhstan. These staff are currently working to plan visits to the relevant countries and programmes of activity in the UK and internationally.
UCL COURSES USING THE COLLECTIONS THIS YEAR
ARCLG200 Egyptian Archaeology: An Object-based Theoretical Introduction ARCLG197 The Archaeology of Early Egypt & Sudan, c.10,000 to 2500 BC ARCLG198 Egyptian Writing as Material Culture ARCL1005 Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology ARCL2012 Archaeology of Ancient Egypt ARCL6002 Ancient Egypt in London ARCLG111 Archaeological Glass & Glasses ARCLG113 Lithe Analysis ARCLG139 Conservation Management ARCLG140 Preventative Conservation ARCLG122 Conservation Studies Lab Work ARCLG123 Conservation Materials Science ARCLG192 Collections Curatorship ARCL 1003 Past Societies ARCL 1004 Introduction to Greek Archaeology ARCL1007 Interdisciplinary Approaches to Archaeological Problems ARCL1011: Texts in Archaeology ARCL2038 Research & Presentation Skills in Archaeology ARCL3036 Indigenous Archaeology ARCL 3065 Aspects of the Neolithic & Early Bronze Age of Britain ARCL3071 Archaeology of Neanderthals and their Ancestors ARCLG148 Collections Management & Care ARCLG034 Museum & Site Interpretation ARCLG190 Museum Communication ARCLG143: Morphology & Palaeopathology of the Human Skeleton G112: Interpreting Pottery G120B: Approaches to Artefact Studies G155 Issues in the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East G176 Archaeology of Human Evolution in Africa G191 Exhibition Project G220 Experimental Archaeology CLASGR01 Approaches to Classical Studies GEOL1001 Earth Materials GEOL1013 The Earth GEOL1003 History of Life GEOL1012 Surface Processes GEOL1002 Petrology to Petrogenesis GEOL2008 Vertebrate Palaeontology & Evolution GEOL2009 Sedimentary Processes & Structures GEOL2024 Petrology GEOL2025 Petrography GEOL2026 Maps, Images & Structures
27 GEOL3036 Biodiversity & Macroevolutionary Patterns GEOL1015 Geology of Planetary Bodies GEOLM003 Earth & Planetary System Science GEOLM905 Independent MSci Project CIVL 2005 Geology & Ground Investigation for Engineers ANTH1013 Research Methods & Techniques in Biological Anthropology ANTH2003 Palaeoanthropology ANTH3052 Primate Evolution & Environments ANTHGH17 Primate Evolution HIST6102 History of the Near East HIST6307: Enlightenment & Revolution HIST 7114: History of Israel & Judah HPSC3022: Science, Art, Philosophy, UCL Science & Technology HPSC2005: Philosophy of Biological Sciences HPSC1007: Research Methods in Science & Technology Studies HPSCGA14 Sciences in the Age of Industry, 1750-1920 HPSC2020: Revolutions in Medicine BIOL1006 Life on Earth BIOL2009 Animal Form & Function BIOL3018 Vertebrate Life & Evolution SSC 0193: Anatomy, Art & Anthropology EDUCGE99: Education MA Dissertation ANAT3038 Advanced Anatomy ANATG038 Advanced Anatomy ANAT6002 Anatomy for Artists ELCS6012A Words for Pictures, UCL Italian ENGL3002 Shakespeare HART1001 History of Art and its Objects (The Core Course) HART1501/15021 17th & 18th Century Art in London Collections HART2105 Selected themes/ Art and the Everyday: Visual Culture & Social Life, 1750-1850 HART3217 Popular Prints and Cultural Change HART3230: Art/ Work/ Spaces INSTG012 Historical Bibliography INSTG008 Digital Resources in the Humanities SPANGG013A Sex & the Body in Early Modern Europe
PUBLICATIONS BY MUSEUM STAFF
Challis, D ‘The Race for the Healthy Body’, Barbara Goff & Michael Simpson eds., Thinking the Olympics: The Classical Tradition and the Modern Games, London: Bristol Classical Press Challis, D ‘More than Stuffed Dormice: Roman Food’, The Food Junctions Cookbook. Living Recipes for Social Innovation, London UCL Challis, D ‘Small Space, Big ideas: The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology’, Archaeology International, no. 13/14, 2009-2011: 28-30. Challis, D ‘Viewpoints: SF Egypt at the Petrie Museum’, Foundation, 110, Winter 2011 Challis, D Book review ‘American Egyptologist: The Life of James Henry Breasted by Jeffrey Abt’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 15-21 December 2011, no. 2029. Serpico, M with an Appendix by Stern, B. (2011). ‘The Contents of Jars in Hatshepsut’s Foundation Deposit at Deir el-Bahri and their Signiﬁcance for Trade’, in D. Aston, B. Bader, C. Gallorini, P. Nicholson, and S. Buckingham (eds), Under the Potter’s Tree: Studies on Ancient Egypt Presented to Janine Bourriau on the Occasion of her 70th Birthday, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 204. Peeters, Leuven, 843- 885. Nelson, T ‘Viral Capacity Building’ British Council, http:/creativeconomy. britishcouncil.org/cultural-leadership/ casestudies/museums-and-3d/ Nelson, T, S MacDonald, ‘A Space for Innovation and Experimentation: University Museums as Test Beds for New Digital Technologies’ in A Handbook for Academic Museums: Beyond Exhibitions and Education (MuseumEtc 2012)
Quirke, S book chapter. ‘Lyricism and Offence in Egyptian Archaeology Collections’. In Graeme Were and Jonathan King (eds.), Extreme Collecting: Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums, Berghahn, New York, 2012, pp.37-48 Quirke, S conference publication. ‘On/Heliopolis/‘Ain Shams Where Light first became Enlightenment. In Mervat’ Abdel Nasser and Sahar Hamouda (eds.), Alexandria and other Centers of Thought in Ancient Egypt. 10-11 December 2009, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Proceedings, Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies, Alexandria 2011, pp.7-19. Thomson, L, Ander, E, Lanceley, A, Menon, U, Noble, G and Chatterjee, HJ (2012) ‘Enhancing Cancer Patient Well-Being With a Nonpharmacological, Heritage-Focused Intervention’. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j. jpainsymman.2011.10.026 Thomson, L, Ander, E, Lanceley, A, Menon, U, Noble, G and Chatterjee, HJ (2012) ‘Quantitative evidence for wellbeing benefits from a heritagein-health intervention with hospital patients’. International Journal of Art Therapy. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17 454832.2012.687750 Ander, E, Thomson, L, Lanceley, A, Menon, U., Noble, G. and Chatterjee, HJ (2012) Heritage in Health: A guide to using museum collections in hospitals and other healthcare settings. UCL Museums & Collections Publications; London. Available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ museums/research/touch/ publications/heritage-in-health
Ander, E, Thomson, L, Lanceley, A, Menon, U, Noble, G and Chatterjee, HJ (2012) ‘Heritage, health and wellbeing: Assessing the impact of a heritage focused intervention on health and wellbeing’. International Journal of Heritage Studies. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/ 13527258.2011.651740 Chatterjee, HJ and Griffiths, S (2011) ‘Heritage in Hospitals: Taking museums objects to patients bedsides’. Group for Education in Museums Case Studies. 7, 18-19. Carnall, M ‘Virtual Palaeontology’. The Palaeontological Association Newsletter Carnall, M ‘Walking with Dragons: CGIs in Wildlife Documentaries’. In Bentowska-Kafel, A., Denard, H and Baker, D (eds) Paradata and Transparency in Virtual Heritage Carnall, M (2011) ‘Relocating the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy’, UCL Collections A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals Carnall, M (2011) ‘Eating Cats’. In Chang, M. and Meusberger, L (eds.) The Food Junctions Cookbook Carnall, M ‘Completely Rethinking the Organisation of Natural History Museums: A Taxonomically Arranged National Collection’ NatSCA News: 21 Ashby, J 2011: ‘Order from Chaos: The new Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London’ NatSCA News: 21