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University museums recognised by national body

The University of St Andrews’ three museum venues have been recognised by a national award.

MUSA (the Museum of the University of St Andrews), the Gateway Galleries and the Bell Pettigrew Museum have all been officially ‘Accredited’ by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

MUSA, which was officially opened by novelist Ian Rankin in November 2008, tells the story of Scotland’s oldest University through the display of artefacts and artworks collected over 600 years. It offers state-of-the-art displays and hand-on interactives in four themed galleries, and has the education centre, the Learning Loft, and a viewing terrace.

MUSA offers new audiences the opportunity to have access to, learn from, and enjoy, the University’s outstanding collections of artefacts, rare books and manuscripts, in some cases displayed for the first time.

The MLA conferred a special commendation under the Accreditation scheme to MUSA. It stated that ‘the University is committed to providing diverse interpretation tools that appeal to a broad audience, balancing information with unique interactives, to create a valuable community resource that reaches beyond users from higher education institutions’.

The Gateway Galleries are the University’s temporary exhibition venue, housing around four exhibitions each year on a diverse range of themes relating to the collections, from art and archaeology to science, medicine and Scottish history.

The Bell Pettigrew Museum is the University’s museum of zoology. Displays are arranged to explain the evolutionary and taxonomic relationships between animals. It is used as a teaching facility of the University’s School of Biology during term-time but is open to the public on Tuesday and Friday afternoons during the University’s summer vacation. The MLA’s Museum Accreditation Scheme sets nationally agreed standards for all museums in the UK. The awards to the University’s three museum sites shows that they meet high national standards, in the care of collections, museum management, and the services provided to visitors.

Senior Curator, Helen Rawson, commented, “We are delighted to have received these awards which reflect the high quality of the museum provision and the University’s commitment to public access to its collections. A Bird of Paradise, copyright University of St Andrews

“MUSA is already receiving well in excess of predicted visitor figures, and we hope that these awards will draw even more people to see and enjoy the museums and displays, and perhaps participate in our exciting programme of events and activities for all ages”.

Andrew Motion, chair of MLA, said, “Being awarded Accreditation is an impressive achievement. It recognises the high standard and service that these museums provide and acknowledges the hard work of the staff”.

The Accreditation certificates will be officially ‘unveiled’ this Friday (7 August) evening, during the opening of the temporary exhibition ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’, an exhibition at the Gateway Galleries exploring six centuries of discovery, innovation and experiment in Natural Philosophy and Physics at the University of St Andrews.

More information on the museums, including opening hours, can be found online at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/museum. Admission is free of charge.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:

 

YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE CERTIFICATE UNVEILING ON FRIDAY 7 AUGUST AT 6.30PM, AT THE GATEWAY GALLERIES, GATEWAY CENTRE, NORTH HAUGH, ST ANDREWS.

CONTACT HELEN RAWSON OR JESSICA BURDGE ON 01334 462417 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:

IMAGES OF MUSA AND OF SOME OF THE UNIVERSITY ARTEFACTS ON DISPLAY ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE PRESS OFFICE – CONTACTS BELOW.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk
Ref: Museum accreditation 040809
View the latest University press releases at www.st-andrews.ac.uk

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