The Great Astrolabe

The Great Astrolabe is one of the most exquisite items in museum collections at the University of St Andrews. Created by master craftsman Humphrey Cole in 1575, and widely considered to be his greatest work, the large brass piece is the most imposing of the many scientific instruments that Cole made by hand in his … Continue reading The Great Astrolabe

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A Big Thank You to our Volunteers

Across the UK, the 1st-7th June 2018 is Volunteers’ Week. For us in MUSA, it's a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution our volunteers make to the work we do here. Throughout the year, our student volunteers work at the reception desk, welcoming visitors, conducting hourly checks of the galleries, making craft activities … Continue reading A Big Thank You to our Volunteers

Letters from America: D’Arcy Thompson’s Remington 12

Volunteer MUSA blogger, Morag Allan Campbell, writes about one of MUSA's intriguing objects in Gallery 3: D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson's typewriter. When D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson heaved his typewriter onto his desk sometime in the 1920s, the era of mechanised writing was well underway.  Printmakers and inventors had been messing around with the idea since at least … Continue reading Letters from America: D’Arcy Thompson’s Remington 12

Intricate Shapes: the Intriguing World of 19th Century Crystallography

Volunteer MUSA blogger, Anna Venturini writes about the development in the field of crystallography in the 19th century. When I was a child, geology ranked third in the list of my strongest passions, right after astronomy and palaeontology. I used to collect any sort of crystals and minerals I could get hold of, especially during … Continue reading Intricate Shapes: the Intriguing World of 19th Century Crystallography

The Seafaring Art of Barbara Rae CBE RA

In our latest post, volunteer blogger Adam Polánek writes about the renowned Scottish artist, Barbara Rae CBE RA. I had never been to Scotland prior to my studies in St Andrews. Growing up in central Europe, to me Scotland was Robert Burns’ poetry (in translation), Trainspotting, bright-coloured postcards of the highlands, and textbook excerpts describing … Continue reading The Seafaring Art of Barbara Rae CBE RA

Design a Museum of the Future!

Is that a rocket blasting off to deliver visitors from floor 1 to floor 14 (I wouldn’t want to be in charge of cleaning that museum)? Or is that a robot showing visitors around the museum, pointing out the first ever teleportation device? There could be Egyptian mummies reanimated Frankenstein-style, or talking taxidermy animal heads; … Continue reading Design a Museum of the Future!

MUSA Extension Project 2018

  Exciting plans are currently underway to create an extension to MUSA, the Museum of the University of St Andrews, which will house two new temporary exhibition galleries.  As part of the project, an environmental control system for the entire museum will be incorporated, to provide optimal display conditions, and a studio / workroom for … Continue reading MUSA Extension Project 2018

Who was Henry Wardlaw?

This month marks the 604th anniversary of the University of St Andrews' foundation. MUSA volunteer, James Fox, tells us about one of the key players involved in this historic occasion. In February 1414, the people of St Andrews celebrated the arrival of the papal bulls which granted the newly established school of higher learning University … Continue reading Who was Henry Wardlaw?

Conserving the Mace of St Salvator’s College

 In 2017, one of the most iconic objects from the University's collections, The Mace of St Salvator's College underwent some conservation work at the University of Glasgow's new studio in Kelvinhall.  Dr Helen Rawson, Co-Director of Museum Collections writes on the conservation process and the surprising discoveries that were revealed!   The Maces of the … Continue reading Conserving the Mace of St Salvator’s College

In Movember Moustaches Rock!

As Movember is a celebration of fantastic facial hair,  Emily Brown, Visitor Services Facilitator and Geology student writes about Matthew Forster Heddle, celebrated mineralogist, the Chair of Chemistry at St Andrews University from 1862 and have-er of a fascinating two-pronged beard. Born in 1828 on the Isle of Hoy, Orkney and educated in Edinburgh, Heddle’s … Continue reading In Movember Moustaches Rock!