Published On: Mon, Aug 30th, 2010 at 1:18pm

Funding announced for museums and galleries

Details of the latest cash awards for Recognised Collections have been announced by Museums Galleries Scotland. Seven Scottish museums whose collections are of National Significance will directly benefit from funding amounting to more than £200,000.

Funding of over £21,000 will allow for innovative research by the University of Edinburgh into its fantastic collection of historic musical instruments. Using a computer-linked pantograph, a technical-drawing tool, the museum can now produce detailed computer images of its historic keyboard instruments without risk of damage to the artefacts.

The award makes the University the first museum outside the US to conduct this type of research into the design and construction of early keyboards.

Funding will also go to the Royal College of Surgeons to create an archive capturing details of the lives and experiences of fellows of the college on film for the first time.

Managed by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, the Recognition Scheme ensures Scotland’s most important collections are identified, cared for, protected and promoted to wider audiences.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop, said:

“Right across Scotland, museums and galleries play a tremendously important role in supporting tourism, the economy and local communities. The Recognition Scheme rightly ensures there are additional resources available for some of the most important collections in Scotland. These nationally significant collections are of great value to the people of Scotland and to the millions of visitors we welcome from around the world every year.”

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“The 36 Recognised Collections of National Significance are open for people to visit all over Scotland. The stories they tell are so important to the past, present and future of the nation. Money we make available to them ensures they can care for their collections and find new and exciting ways to deliver the visitor experience.”

John Scally, Director of University Collections said:

“The University of Edinburgh’s musical collections have reaped the benefits of their Recognition status, not least in the special funding made available on a competitive basis. This award allows us to carry out innovative research conducted for the first time in Scotland which will ultimately widen access to the collection.”

Museums Galleries Scotland represent, through membership, over 350 museums and galleries across Scotland, which welcomes 25 million visitors and provides £800 million in value to the Scottish economy.

To date, 36 collections have been Recognised as being of national significance to Scotland. All are eligible to apply for Recognition funding from Museums Galleries Scotland.

Projects awarded Recognition funding support from Museums Galleries Scotland in this round are:

* Aberdeen City Council – £39,754
Documenting and cataloguing collections is time consuming very important work. The funding will allow Aberdeen City Council to employ two documentation assistants to carry out essential work in cataloguing of the Recognised Collections. The assistants will be updating records and uploading images. The assistants will work on the collections over a period of 12 months.
* Auchindrain Trust – £40,000
Funding will allow Auchindrain Trust to further progress the business and organisational development of Auchindrain. The business and organisational development work focuses on achieving long term sustainability for the Recognised Collection.
* Dumfries & Galloway Council – £40,000
Funding will allow Dumfries and Galloway Council to undertake a project that will augment the security at a number of their museum sites.
* North Lanarkshire Council – £39,948
The cash will fund a project that will increase public access and enjoyment of the North collection through the provision of new display cases, new methods of interpretation and community engagement projects within Motherwell Heritage Centre.
* Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh – £26,202
Funding will allow the Royal College of Surgeons to further an innovative project to establish a filmed oral history archive. The archive will capture on film details on the lives and experiences of Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons. The finished films will be used in a permanent display within the pathology museum helping visitors to interpret the Recognised Collection.
* Scottish Football Association Museum Trust – £39,064
This is the first project by the Scottish Football Museum to receive Recognition funding since their collection was awarded Recognition status in 2009. The funding will enhance interpretation of historically important objects within the collection. It will also help to improve the wider display of collections from specific eras through the use, where possible, of period photography, film and audio.
* University of Edinburgh – £21,456
This project will revolutionise access to the University of Edinburgh’s Collection of Historic Musical Instruments by enabling the University to undertake research into the entire collection of early keyboard instruments. The funding will support the appointment of a Keyboards Research Assistant who will document the instruments using innovative technical drawing equipment, a pantograph, also purchased through this project. The University will be the first museum outside the States to use a pantograph to conduct valuable research in to the design and construction of early keyboards in this way.

About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born Freelance multimedia journalist, always available for commissions!

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