MGS has announced details of thirteen projects that have been given the green light to be supported by their Strategic Investment and Recognition Funds. Many of the projects focus on digitising collections to make them more accessible to the public and researchers.

A number of awards will also fund new posts and professional consultant services to create extra capacity to undertake conservation, volunteer management, marketing and audience development projects.

An award to Orkney Islands Council of £42,000 of Recognition Funding will allow them to progress vital collections management work by funding a two year Archaeology Collections Assistant post who will catalogue the collection and create improved digital resources to better facilitate research, improving access, understanding and care of their Recognised Collection of National Significance.


Discoveries from the Ness of Brodgar, located within the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site and a stone’s throw from the famed Ring of Brodgar, forms a major new exhibition, which opened in April at the Stromness Museum. Photo and main image by Hugo Anderson Whymark
Above: Norse comb from Buckquoy. Left: Multi coloured bead from Lavacroon

“Our archaeology collections are rich and varied, and attract a huge amount of interest from researchers and the public,” said Clare Gee, Orkney Island Council’s Arts, Museums and Heritage Service Manager. “With important excavations going on throughout Orkney, which will increase and enrich the collection in to the future, it is becoming more important all the time that our archaeology collection be easily accessible for visitors and researchers.”

Moths: Eggars Lackey Emperor and Kentish Glory copyright of Culture & Leisure Dundee
Marcantonio Raimondi (c.1480-1527) Neptune Calming the Tempest which Aeolus Raised against Aeneas' Fleet Engraving c.1515; TIB 352 GLAHA:10173. Copyright of Hunterian Museums and Art Gallery

“We are pleased to fund these museum projects and to support the vital work of the museum as well as helping them to further ambitions to increase their long term sustainability,” said Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland. “All of the projects will enable the museums to improve their accessibility and visitor experience so a lot of people will benefit from the work.”

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Grant Awards

AYRSHIRE – East Ayrshire Leisure on behalf of the National Burns Collection – £40,700 (Recognition Fund) The McKie Collection project. This project will catalogue and digitise East Ayrshire’s McKie Collection, which is a key component of the Burns Scotland partnership.

National Trust for Scotland – £60,000 (Recognition Fund) Recognising Burns. The award will substantially improve awareness of the Recognised collections among visitors to Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

Scottish Maritime Museum Trust on behalf of the Industrial Museums Scotland Partnership – £49,000 (Recognition Fund). Safeguarding the past and inspiring the future of Recognised Collections. The award will fund an innovative and imaginative joint Industrial Museums Scotland marketing and communication strategy and its implementation.

ARGYLL & BUTE – Auchindrain Trust – £40,000 (Strategic Investment Fund) The Township Project. The Museum will employ two project works to carry out conservation work on their buildings.

DUNDEE – Leisure & Culture Dundee – £39,240 (Strategic Investment Fund) Angus Moth Project. Leisure and Culture Dundee will lead this partnership project to digitise the lepidoptera collections, which contain butterfly and moth specimens, held by the The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum, the University of Dundee and Montrose Museum.

Leisure & Culture Dundee – £50,000 (Recognition Fund) Succession Planning Project. The project will fund a two year fixed term post at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum within Leisure and Culture Dundee.

EDINBURGH & LOTHIANS – Almond Valley Heritage Trust – £35,470 (Recognition Fund) Invisible Learning Project. Almond Valley staff will work with a consultant to develop a learning strategy to develop and deliver training for staff around learning.

City of Edinburgh Council – £29,070 (Strategic Investment Fund) Volunteering Development Programme. Museums and galleries rely on the time and support from their volunteers and this award will allow the Council to recruit a part-time Volunteer Coordinator for a two year period to manage and develop their volunteer programme.

FIFE – Fife Folk Museum – £37,505 (Strategic Investment Fund) Employment of Professional Curator. This award will allow the museum, which is currently entirely run by volunteers, to employ a curator for a two year period.

GLASGOW – Glasgow Life – £16,538 (Strategic Investment Fund) Digitising Glasgow Life Conservation Documentation. Over a six month period all conservation records on paper will be scanned and linked to database records.

University of Glasgow – £27,112 (Recognition Fund)  Raphael and the Printed Image – a major collection of Renaissance engravings 1510-1530. This project will make fully accessible for the first time a collection of 171 Renaissance prints which are a key element of The Hunterian’s Recognised Collection of National Significance.

THE HIGHLANDS – Groam House Museum – £21,000 (Recognition Fund) The George Bain Art Exhibition. The award will fund the creation of an exhibition in 2016 of the George Bain Art Collection in collaboration with a local artist.

ORKNEY Orkney Islands Council – £42,000 (Recognition Fund) Archaeology Collections Assistant. The award will fund a two year Archaeology Collections Assistant post who will build on recent work to catalogue the collection and will create improved digital resources to better facilitate research, improving access, understanding and care of the Recognised collection.