We need to confront uncomfortable truths

Should cultural artefacts in museums around the world be returned to their places of origin? It’s a hotly contested debate, and last week, during a three-day visit to Africa, French President Emmanuel Macron made a significant intervention. In a speech at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, he stated that the return of African artefacts to their countries of origin… Read full article

Learning about learning: the GEM Foundation course

At the beginning of October, I travelled to London for the first two days of the GEM Foundation Course in Museum Learning. This course is a combination of group discussion, reading, lectures, practical exercises, site visits, mentoring and self-reflection intended to expand and inform the thinking of museum education professionals at the start of their careers. For our first day… Read full article


Looking back on the Festival of Light

In October 2017, the Botanic Garden played host to the Festival of Light. One of the University of Cambridge Museums’ most ambitious events to date, the free Festival was the culmination of the year-long India Unboxed season. A thousand-strong audience enjoyed an epic live performance by Talvin Singh, crafts and activities by the individual Museums and Emergency Exit Arts, and… Read full article

Caring for your family archives

Do you have family archives? – paper, photographs, film and slides, possibly hidden away in dusty boxes? Would you like to know more about what can damage them, and how to care for them appropriately so future generations can enjoy them? If yes, then you may want to come along to an event on Saturday 18 November at the Sedgwick Museum… Read full article


Valuing the Visual

Some highlights and reflections from the Valuing the Visual Conference at Sheffield School of Education on 4 and 5 July 2017. At the beginning of July I was fortunate to be able to go to the International Literacies Conference in Sheffield. The conference explored the intersections between written and spoken language and the visual. I was one of the only… Read full article

Livestreaming Cambridge’s stinkiest plant

Titus is the Botanic Garden’s titan arum plant, sometimes known as the corpse flower. It flowers only once a decade, and the resulting smell has been described as ‘dead badger’; ‘cheesy death’; ‘residue from microwaved kipper’ and ‘the time the freezer died at the Museum of Zoology’. Naturally, Team UCM was there to stream last month’s flowering experience live from… Read full article


History Day 2017: From Alchemy to Zoological Sexology

Representatives from the University of Cambridge Museums Archive Collections Network attended a ‘History Day’ in London on Tuesday 31st October.  The History Day took place at Senate House – a stunning Art Deco building in the heart of Bloomsbury, London. The event was organised by the Institute of Historical Research and the School of Advanced Study. The day offered the chance… Read full article

Learning about learning: the GEM Foundation course

At the beginning of October, I travelled to London for the first two days of the GEM Foundation Course in Museum Learning. This course is a combination of group discussion, reading, lectures, practical exercises, site visits, mentoring and self-reflection intended to expand and inform the thinking of museum education professionals at the start of their careers. For our first day… Read full article


History Day 2017: From Alchemy to Zoological Sexology

Representatives from the University of Cambridge Museums Archive Collections Network attended a ‘History Day’ in London on Tuesday 31st October.  The History Day took place at Senate House – a stunning Art Deco building in the heart of Bloomsbury, London. The event was organised by the Institute of Historical Research and the School of Advanced Study. The day offered the chance… Read full article

We need to confront uncomfortable truths

Should cultural artefacts in museums around the world be returned to their places of origin? It’s a hotly contested debate, and last week, during a three-day visit to Africa, French President Emmanuel Macron made a significant intervention. In a speech at the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, he stated that the return of African artefacts to their countries of origin… Read full article