• Diversifying the Museum Voice
    Are you considering or involved in an exhibition, display, project or activity which includes sharing authorship and working collaboratively with others to bring new voices into the museum? Could you potentially benefit from facilitated time with peers to discuss your work, share challenges, ideas, concerns, opportunities and ways forward? Could a guiding framework for this work be of use to… Read full article
  • How do you research a colonial era collection?
    Visiting researcher Zoe Cormack talks about her research on the colonial histories of collections at Cambridge, the previous owners of African objects now stored at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the new questions and connections this research is bringing to light. As a visiting researcher in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) in Cambridge, I am investigating… Read full article
  • Getting Hands on with Touch Tours at the University of Cambridge Museums
    Suspended due to COVID-19, we have now been able to resume and extend our popular series of Touch Tours, for visitors who are blind and partially sighted. Participants and educators are thrilled to get back into the museum spaces, and to touch, explore and handle real museum objects and sculptures in person. Since the museums’ reopening following lockdown, there has… Read full article
  • Look Imagine Move with music and dance, step into art at the Fitzwilliam Museum: Artworks in focus films
    Ruth Clarke shares this new series of films, made in collaboration with dance artist Filipa Pereira-Stubbs, designed to relax and restore body and mind, through guided contemplations of artworks in the Fitzwilliam collection. Born out of the established UCM Dance with the Museum programme, the Look Imagine Move films animate artworks across the Fitzwilliam Museum collection through invitations to engage… Read full article
  • Age Well: supporting older people’s health and wellbeing through cultural connections
    Taking place through partnerships across the Cambridgeshire region, Age Well is a new framework for the UCM that brings together programmes with, and for,  older people. It is specifically aimed at those living in or supported by social or residential care, and who have complex health conditions including, dementia, physical disability, muscular skeletal issues and strokes. Age Well is looking… Read full article
  • It’s Our Museum Too!
    In early 2020, a group of young children and staff from a local community playgroup spent four mornings ‘in residence’ at the Fitzwilliam Museum. This collaborative action research project built on the findings of the 2017 UCM Nursery in Residence aiming to explore young children’s encounters with objects, spaces and places. Educators from the museum and the playgroup worked together… Read full article
  • Exploring museum collections with young people seeking asylum
    During summer 2021, the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) enjoyed the chance to share our collections with unaccompanied young people seeing asylum, offering opportunities to get creative, to develop their spoken English through conversations in the galleries, to discover their own connections with museum objects and to do something fun during their break from college. The University of Cambridge Museums… Read full article
  • Exploring blended models for Arts Award projects
    In summer 2021, still facing the challenges of reopening our sites, maintaining social distancing and working with schools as they regained confidence in running school trips, we explored how to run a Bronze Arts Award with secondary school students using a blended model – namely, a mixture of online and in-person engagement. Each year the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM)… Read full article
  • (Please don’t) Shake, rattle and roll
    It’s the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) Stores Move team here again. We’ve been busy packing all kinds of fascinating and surprising objects, including some rather animated Mexican artefacts from the 19th and 20th century. Our goal is to keep them safe during their trip across Cambridge to the Centre for Material Culture (CMC), and to ensure that they… Read full article
  • A year of allyship
    The University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) Change Makers champion and campaign for improved representation and diversity within our consortium and our audiences. 2022 is an exciting year for Change Makers. Jasmine Brady, Chair of the Change Makers Action Group, tells us more. Hello Jasmine. So what’s Change Makers all about and how does it work? Hello, UCM Blog. It’s a… Read full article
  • Gurgling in the Galleries
    Having supported many families with young children throughout the pandemic, educators at the Fitzwilliam Museum became aware of a need for more stimulating and social opportunities for babies under 12 months and their carers – so ‘Gurgling in the Gallery’ sessions were born! What is ‘Gurgling in the Gallery’? Gurgling in the Gallery is a fun and friendly, interactive museum… Read full article
  • Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen and Akan Goldweights at MAA
    A spotlight on the life and work of Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen, founder and first director of the Centre for National Culture, Kumasi (Ghana) and collector of a collection of Akan goldweights at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA). This blogpost was made possible by the generous contributions of Barima Asumadu Sakyi, Regional Director of the Centre for National… Read full article
  • To QR, or NFC, that is the question.
    Do museum visitors use QR codes? What about near field communication? More importantly, would visitors use those to connect with creative digital content created by our community? Read on! In the summer of 2020 we ran Museum Remix: Unheard, inviting our communities to make new creative content – films, audio and 2D works – inspired by our collections. This all… Read full article
  • The road to recovery: April-September 2021
    Leaves are falling… it’s time to find out what the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) and Botanic Garden have been up to over a busy six months. The UCM museums began April 2021 as we did the April before: closed to the public in accordance with England’s national lockdown. Since then, as the country has begun to emerge from COVID-19… Read full article
  • The Art of Science: Bringing back practical learning at the Polar Museum
    Artist educator Alice White has been working with the team at the Polar Museum to discover how the spirit of exploration connects artistic and scientific enquiry. The impulse to question, experiment, and communicate our knowledge and experience is shared by artists and scientists alike. This project aims to show that cross-disciplinary collaboration leads to greater understanding and new perspectives. Alice… Read full article
  • ‘Branch’ing out with Centre 33 Young Carers
    Centre 33 and the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) have a long-term partnership stretching back over ten years which enables young carers in the county to come together, have fun and creatively engage with our collections. During the summer young carers from the Centre joined us at the museums to discover how nature, and particularly trees, have inspired and been… Read full article
  • Cambridge Anthropology and Torres Strait Island Kastom
    A recent collaborative project to publish Recording Kastom: Alfred Haddon’s Journals from the Torres Strait and New Guinea, 1888 and 1898, highlights the far-reaching value of anthropological collections for ongoing research and community empowerment. Read on to find out how the process of publishing Haddon’s journals enabled us to better understand, activate and decolonize our collections. Alfred Haddon’s expeditions to… Read full article
  • Masks and Monsters: Decoding Anglo-Saxon Metalwork
    Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? A pair of eyes amongst the bracken, a shadowy silhouette in the moonlight, the Queen of England on your toast? The phenomenon is called pareidolia: the product of a paranoid brain. Human minds are constantly searching for patterns and meaning in the world around them; sometimes seeing a face in the trees… Read full article
  • Animal Adventurers: the game
    In January 2021 we were still working within the restrictions of the pandemic and our public programme was to remain online for a while longer. In search of new ways to engage with our family audiences, I looked to a familiar piece of software and some recent training to create an interactive online activity for young people and families. The… Read full article
  • Transforming Collections and Ourselves: introducing the MAA Stores Move
    How have you been? You doing OK? Things have been pretty wild here, in a panic-don’t-panic, start-stop kind of way. Last March we were selecting an incredible team of nine Collections Assistants from an extraordinary field of over 700 applicants to join the most ambitious project the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) has undertaken in at least a generation…. Read full article
  • Supporting local museums: a guide for limestone cleaning & care
    A lot of buildings and architectural features in and around Cambridge have historically been made of limestone as it was readily available and relatively easy to quarry and to carve. Today, some of these features and objects can be found in local museums, like for example, the sculptures at the Museum of Cambridge (shown above) that used to decorate the… Read full article