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A brand new Quest for MUSA

This spring MUSA introduced an exciting new activity for its younger visitors: four themed quests around the museum. The quests were produced as part of a project by a Museum and Gallery Studies student. They include a range of different fun and engaging activities and are packed in small brightly coloured bags that can be found on the art cart.

Image of new MUSA Quest bags on the Art Cart

Each quest is packed with fun activities on a different theme: nature, art, science, and university life. They all contain a spotting card encouraging the young questers to spot specific objects around the museum. Nature questers are encouraged to examine shells and fossils as well as to go bird spotting on the MUSA viewing terrace. Budding artists can pick up the Art Quest and get creative with the book of mixed up art and see a whole new world through colour mixing glasses.  The Science Quest encourages discovery, supplying questers with a magnifying glass and compass to explore the museums exhibits. Finally, questers can experience a taste of University Life by dressing up in the university’s distinctive red gowns and building their own mace from Lego.

You can also purchase these colourful canvas bags in the MUSA gift shop for £2.99.


Research in Museums: Museums in Research

Call for Papers

The eighth biennial University Museums in Scotland conference will be held in the University of St Andrews on 31st October and 1st November 2013.

This conference will focus on the role of museums in academic research and how it can be fostered and managed.

There is a long tradition of scholarly research on museum collections, and much recent research focusing on visitor studies and the social role of museums. The place of research in museums and the value of museums to researchers is coming under scrutiny, with the attitude of different institutions to its role and value increasingly divergent.

Questions to be addressed could include how links can be fostered between researchers, students and museums; the role of museums in developing funded research projects; the development of local, national and international research partnerships and collaborations; the role of museums in public engagement with research; whether museums based in academic institutions have a special role; the impact of the Research Excellence Framework; and the place of museum staff as researchers.

Proposals are invited for individual papers of 20 minutes. Proposals should take the form of a maximum 250 word outline of the topic to be covered and the name and contact details of the proposer. All proposals must be received by 31st March 2013, with the conference booking form available from May 2013.

The conference is being hosted by the University of St Andrews.  The University has three Accredited museums:  MUSA (The Museum of the University of St Andrews), the Gateway Galleries (temporary exhibitions) and the Bell Pettigrew Museum (zoology), plus the MUSA Collections Centre, an open-access store and research centre.  The Heritage, Chemistry and Historic Scientific Instrument Collections are Recognised Collections of National Significance.