This month, Connect met up with some of the members of University Museums in Scotland (UMIS). We heard about the difference university museums make to the sector, and why UMIS is so important to their work. As the name suggests, UMIS is a collaborative organisation made up of all the Accredited university museums in Scotland. Formed in the 1980’s, the group currently has 10 members. It acts as a support network to help these organisations work together and share their experiences.
Universities hold a high proportion of Scotland’s nationally significant collections, and look after more than 1.8 million items. A whopping 60% of these collections are uncatalogued though, with information on just 7.5% available online. This makes access tricky for both researchers and members of the public. One big success of the group has been the ‘Revealing the Hidden Collections‘ project. This website brings together information on items from the collections of the universities of Dundee, St Andrews, Stirling, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Heriot-Watt, Robert Gordon, and the Glasgow School of Art. This information is all available one central place, accessible through a single search.