Local heritage symposium: That belongs in a museum!


That belongs in a museum…! Or does it?

Join us for a day exploring how artefacts end up in museums, who puts them there and why – and what it all means once they’re part of a collection.

Throughout the day we’ll be inviting discussion and comments around the themes of improving representation of Aberdeen’s residents in our collections, and how we make best use of those collections.

Panellists include Emily Freeman (Treasure Trove Manager), Neil Curtis (Head of Museums & Special Collections, University of Aberdeen) and Lesley Anne Rose (Safe Harbour: Open Sea project).

Hear from Alford Heritage Museum on developing new approaches to collecting, AOC Archaeology on the place of human remains in archaeological assemblages and museums, and artist Anthony Schrag will be on hand to talk about his recent residency with Culture Perth and Kinross exploring what a museum collection is and who it should be for. You don’t have to work in a museum to enjoy this event – everyone is welcome!



10.30am  Welcome
Jenny Brown, Lead Curator (History), Aberdeen Archives, Gallery & Museums


10.40am  Keynote
Treasure Trove in Scotland
Emily Freeman, Treasure Trove Manager


11am  Panel
Who decides what belongs in a museum?
Sue Taylor, Alford Heritage Museum

Steven Watt, Project Officer, AOC Archaeology Group

Joan Bruce, Gallery Review Team Leader,  The Garioch Heritage Society

Lesley Anne Rose, Culture Collective ‘Safe Harbour: Open Sea’ project in Fittie

Chair: Patricia Weeks, Museums Development Officer, Live Life Aberdeenshire


12.15pm  Panel
Making the most of museum collections
Dr Anthony Schrag, Artist and Senior Lecturer in Cultural Policy & Arts Administration, Queen Margaret University

Derek Jennings, Vice Chair, The Book of Deer Project#

Neil Curtis, Head of Museums & Special Collections, University of Aberdeen

Chair: Bruce Mann, Regional Archaeologist, Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service


1.45pm  Breakout discussions
Choose to attend two 20-min sessions:

Do you see yourself or people like you represented in the museum? How can we improve the breadth of Aberdeen City residents past and present represented in our collections?

Energy, economy and the environment: we live in interesting times. What should we be collecting now to preserve for the future?

Should human remains be part of museum collections? When and how is it acceptable to keep human remains and display them?

Museums exist for the public benefit, in many cases with vast collections. How can we make best use of these resources for everyone?


3pm  Feedback
From breakout groups, reflections and discussions with all speaker


3.30pm  Close