St Andrew visited St Andrews today (Thursday 29 November 2012) to officially launch a new multi-media guide to the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) in time for St Andrew’s Day.
The guide is a hand held screen with head-set which will allow visitors to the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) to watch and listen to short videos, narrated by Honorary Graduate Joanna Lumley, giving a deeper understanding of the history of the University and its collections.
Joanna Lumley said:
“To be ‘capped’ by Sir Menzies Campbell at St Andrews with Gaudeamus Igitur ringing in the air is one thing: to be asked to record the commentary for the University’s excellent museum, MUSA, is another honour so great that I am still scarlet with pleasure.
“Because it was so beautifully written and prepared, I was able to record it in one take: and as I sat in the dark of a Soho recording studio I found myself yearning to be in the Museum, following my own instructions, as it were, unravelling the history of the marvels contained in every room and cabinet and case. One thing is sure: as soon as I possibly can, I shall visit what is now my alma mater, pick up a headset and dream my way through the treasures this ancient and glorious establishment guards for Scotland and for future generations.”
The guide is being launched as part of the University’s on-going 600th Anniversary Celebrations – celebrating its ancient roots and its modern achievements. The guide covers the University’s history from its foundation to the present day, touches on most aspects of the student experience through the ages, the innovations that have come out of St Andrews in the areas of Science, Arts and Divinity and discusses the University’s art collection and how the first women came to be admitted, among other things.
Visitors will be able to see items from the collections that are not on display, see objects in context through historic photographs, watch videos of items in use, such as the maces at graduation, and engage with collections in new ways, such as through music.
From St Andrews Day visitors will be able to pick up a guide free of charge when they arrive at the museum and will be guided around the museum by Joanna Lumley, who will explain the University’s story. At the end of each section the visitor can choose to continue with the story or to dig deeper. The “dig deeper” parts have been recorded by members of staff at the University, current students and alumni.
The University has worked with the Fife Sensory Impairment Centre to provide audio descriptions, allowing visitors with visual impairments to engage extensively for the first time.
Founded between 1411 and 1413, St Andrews is the oldest University in Scotland the 3rd oldest in the English-speaking world. Legend suggests that the University is founded on the bones of St Andrew, whose arm bone, knee-cap, three fingers and a tooth were carried to the town by St Regulus who had been commanded by an angel to take them to ‘the ends of the earth’.
Notes to News Editors
The St Andrew costume was kindly lent to the University by the KK Trust in support of the 600th Anniversary celebrations.University news