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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Fridjtof Nansen: Explorer, Scientist, Humanitarian, and Rector.

Fridtjof Nansen is an individual you need to know about. A Norwegian visionary, explorer, pioneer, diplomat, humanitarian, champion, artist, and scholar, Nansen had a hunger for adventure and a quest for knowledge, venturing into uncharted territory time and time again. He held a Nobel Peace Prize, several world records, and to top it all off, … Continue reading Fridjtof Nansen: Explorer, Scientist, Humanitarian, and Rector.

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

St Andrews and the Blackstone

Between May Dip and post-exam soakings, the month of May is lively with student traditions. MUSA volunteer blogger, Selena Putri, tells us about an examination tradition that has (mercifully!) died out since St Andrews’ foundation. Please note that this article has hyperlinks embedded that you can follow for more information. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s … Continue reading St Andrews and the Blackstone

A history of women in St Andrews: the Lady Literate in Arts scheme

The University of St Andrews may be over 600 years old, but women have only been allowed to study here for just over 100 years! MUSA blogger, Heather Taylor, tells us about the scheme that first allowed women to study at St Andrews. Currently, around 60% of students at the University of St Andrews are … Continue reading A history of women in St Andrews: the Lady Literate in Arts scheme

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!