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Interactives

One of MUSA’s key aims is to help our visitors enjoy the University’s collections in very practical ways. For this reason we have a number of in-gallery activities for families to discover together.

Gallery 1

In this gallery you can create your own replica wax seal, by embossing both the University’s own original seal and the museum logo onto a piece of paper to take home with you. Seals have been used since the early 10th century to prove that documents are genuine. The University Seal Matrix, cast between 1414 and 1418, was closely guarded and used only on very important documents sent out by the University. You can also have a go re-creating the medieval maces on our wall based magnetic jigsaw puzzle – you will need to closely study the actual maces to be able to finish the puzzle

Gallery 2

To help interpret the stunning display of 70 Silver Arrow Competition archery medals in this gallery, a touch-screen interactive computer station positioned nearby contains a wide range of information about the medals, the competition and the victors. You can also try your hand at being a (virtual) archer yourself – if you are successful, you can design your own archery medal!

Gallery 2 is also home to our ever popular mini Red Gowns. The Red Gown is synonymous with St Andrews students, but do you know they were first worn in the 1600s so that Professors could spot any student who might be getting up to mischief? By popular demand we now also have an adult Red Gown from our twentieth-century handling collection so everyone can join in the fun!

Gallery 3

The overall theme of Gallery 3 is innovation and discovery and here you can discover for yourself how a kaleidoscope works. The kaleidoscope, which is still a popular toy, was invented in 1817 by Sir David Brewster, a well-known scientist at the University of St Andrews.

Did you know that 3D photography has been around since Victorian times? The first 3D – or ‘stereoscopic’ cameras and viewers - were developed by St Andrews professors in the 1840s. You can look through the eyepiece on our replica taxiphote (an early instrument used to view stereoscopic images) to view some old pictures of St Andrews. We also have a modern stereoscopic viewer, and visitors can use ‘3D’ glasses to view modern images.

Learning Loft

In the Learning Loft you will find an Archaeology Challenge – use your powers of deduction to reconstruct two broken pots, using the same skills as an archaeologist.

 Can you identify some mystery objects in our popular ‘feely box’ – are you brave enough to place your hand inside, and decide what might be in there?  Try out one of our craft activities or have a look through the craft drawers to see what you can find!  We have a selection of books in our childrens book box and some soft toys, cushions and a mat for babies and toddlers to play on.  You can look at some 3D images of our Cypriot Archaeology collection on the PCs and view some of our art collection online there as well.

Roof terrace

Up on the roof terrace, make sure to look through our ‘Talking Telescope’ which describes the spectacular view from the terrace in detail. A specially designed working sun dial accurately tells the time all year round.