New Map of University Museums in Brazil

As a result of the research project ‘Cultural Heritage of Science and Technology and University Museums: research, analysis and characterization of strategic relationships’, coordinated by former UMAC Secretary Marcus Granato, from the Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences in Rio de Janeiro, 444 university museums were identified in Brazil, including 21 virtual museums.

These museums are part of a universe of 201 Brazilian universities registered in the official accreditation platform for higher education institutions (e-MEC). It should be noted that a university museum is understood as any museum inserted in the administration of a university.

Search  here the distribution of these museums by geographic region and by state (in Portuguese). When these exist, the museum websites are also provided.

Explore and enjoy!



For about a year now, humanity has been facing a major global threat: the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic, usually referred to as covid-19. Governments across the planet have made all sorts of attempts to deal with this threat. However, the task is highly complex and demanding. Confusion and uncertainties abound while the death toll is becoming increasingly dramatic. High hopes are being placed on vaccination while individuals try to maintain a sense of normality through the increasing use of digital technologies.

This situation raises a number of critical questions, for example:

  • Can humanity only deal with threats of this magnitude via high-tech developments delivered by major corporate powers such as the pharmacological and the digital industries?
  • Can threats of this nature be addressed instead (or also) via alternative approaches that use human creativity in ways, and by agents, not yet imagined?
  • Why has this corporate techno-utopia become so dominant?
  • What role plays information technologies, particularly social media, on the perceived risks and impact of this threat on human agency and creativity? Which benefits and which constraints result from these technologies?

This event, promoted by the University of Porto with the support of UMAC-ICOM will contribute to critically address these questions. It aims to trigger debate and disseminate the international competition The Power of Design: Re-establishing embodied conviviality beyond covid-19.



1.   Introduction and welcome

2.   Reflection by Fátima Vieira (Vice-President, University of Porto) on utopian thinking and the international competition The Power of Design

3.   Key note by Olivia Bina (Principal Researcher, University of Lisbon) on alternative imaginaries and their implications for addressing the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic

4.   Debate with the participation of audience

5.   The Power of Design competition: brief presentation by António Ferreira (Senior Researcher, University of Porto)

6.   Conclusions



 Registration is free of charge. To know more about this event and to register, please click here


New Year: Best Wishes from the Chair


Dear UMAC members and friends,

It’s that time of the year when we distribute good wishes. But this year it does not feel like it usually does, does it?

The strangeness is not only about the changed plans or the cancelled or postponed activities in 2020.

Yes, we adapted. UMAC cancelled the University Museum Training Week Shanghai 2020 and so many other initiatives with local partners in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas. Like so many conferences and events around the world, our 2020 Annual Conference in Sydney Australia had to be postponed. We moved our main activities online and invented new ones: the POST-LOCKDOWN Webinar Series helped us navigate the impact of the pandemic in our university museums, the UMAC ORIGINS series documented the history of UMAC as we approach our 20th anniversary (eight episodes already!), the UMAC AWARD 2020 with three fabulous winners (the call for the Award 2021 is still open), and the 20th Annual General Meeting. We were delighted to be together, even remotely. Check it out because it shows.

But it’s not only that.

The year felt like a big blur, a haze. The most disturbing thing about 2020 – apart from the isolation, the loss and grief – was the uncertainty, the constant doubt and change, the endless need to adapt. We realized our plans, our hopes, our sense of normalcy, were precarious. We did not know it one year ago.

But a new year – and a new decade – is beginning today. Teaching will change, funding possibly too, but I think all in all universities have survived very well the stress test of 2020: in every continent they were at the forefront of research, public service and vaccine development; they have assisted governments in defining health policies, and they have been in the media almost every day explaining what is known and not-known about the science behind COVID-19.

I think university museums and collections will also survive the stress test. We need to feel hopeful because despite all the challenges, we’re in this together – together with each other and together with our universities and our communities.

I am joined by the UMAC Board in looking forward to 2021 together with each one of you, sharing our experiences, our plans and our hopes, supporting each other, and through that support, promoting university museums, collections and heritage everywhere in the world.

Warm wishes,

Marta C. Lourenço, UMAC Chair

Lisbon, 31 December 2020


Cultural Current: International Exchange Program between the UK and Russia

From December 21, 2020, applications for participation in the international online program for the exchange of professional experience between museum specialists of Russia and the UK CULTURAL CURRENT will be accepted. The program is implemented with the support of the Department of Culture and Education of the British Embassy in Moscow as part of the program UK-Russia Creative Bridge 2020-21. 

The program is designed to activate the work of university museums and the communities around them. Using examples of the best museum practices in Russia and Scotland, we will consider the diverse possibilities of university museums, and through them universities as centers for the preservation and presentation of scientific and cultural heritage, centers of social change. The implementation of this program is a step towards increasing the openness and accessibility of university museums. The program will expand the sphere of influence of museums within universities, through universities to form the cultural and social agenda of cities and regions. 

The program provides participants with the opportunity to: 

– to establish professional contacts with leading experts of museum affairs of Russia and Scotland; 

– share your own experience in implementing various projects and get instant feedback; 

– develop strategic thinking, gain skills in setting and achieving goals; 

– expand its sphere of influence within universities. 

Organizers of the program: Tomsk Polytechnic University,  Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University,  Perm State National Research University together with the Association of University Museums of Scotland  UMIS. 

Co-organizers of the program: Department of Culture and Education of the British Embassy in Moscow. 

Seminars of the CULTURAL CURRENT program will be held online on February 5, 11, 12 and 19, 2021. Participation in the program is free – you can join it as a speaker or listener. To do this, you must register by specifying the selected form of participation in the application. The organizers reserve the right to select participants. 

The program is aimed at: 

managers and employees of university, corporate, and school museums who believe that difficulties harden and open up new opportunities; 

students who want to change, expand their social circle, find new topics for inspiration; 

– volunteers who need to be in the museum and with the museum; 

researchers who are open to scientific and creative projects in partnership with university museums; 

anyone who understands how great and underestimated the potential of university museums in the world is. 

Working language of The Program: russian and english. 

Registration for the program: 

– for those who want to participate in the program, registration will be open from December 21, 2020 to January 15, 2021 through this online form.

The number of seats is limited. All relevant information about the program and seminars will be provided in the  program group on Facebook. 

Curators of the program: 

Lidia Lozovaya 


Supported by:

Debate about Deaccessioning in US Museums

A recent important resource about the legal and ethical dimensions of deaccessioning is the inaugural “Civil Conversations Program” of the University of Miami School of Law’s Hoffman Forum. The video is of wide interest to its global community of university museums and collections.


Jill Deupi, Beaux Arts Director & Chief Curator, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami

Martin Gammon, Founder and President, Pergamon Art Group

Glenn Lowry, The David Rockefeller Director, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Elizabeth Merritt, Vice President for Strategic Foresight and Founding Director, Center for the Future of Museums, American Alliance of Museums

Stephen Urice, Professor of Law, Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, and Director, Entertainment, Arts, & Sports Law LL.M., University of Miami School of Law

Co-hosted by: Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Graduate Program at the University of Miami School of Law and the LOWE Art Museum

UMAC AWARD 2021: Call for Nominations

UMAC invites the university museums and collections global community to submit nominations to the UMAC AWARD 2021.

Do you know a particularly outstanding project by a university museum or collection? Was your own university museum or collection involved in an exceptionally significant project that you think deserves international visibility?

The Call for Nominations will be open until 28 February 2021 and the nominations can only be made online.

Please find the online form and information about eligibility, selection criteria and more here.

We can’t wait to see the 2021 nominations!

University of Tartu Museum Wins the UMAC Award 2020

The 2020 UMAC Award was won by the project ‘A Hundred Faces of the University of Tartu’, submitted by the Tartu University Museum, Estonia. The award was accepted by Mariann Raisma, Director of the Museum, during an online ceremony held today on youtube:

The objective of the University of Tartu Museum’s project was to portray the University through encounters between current scholars and historical objects. In the course of the project, a photo exhibition called “Get Your Spirit Ready! A Hundred Faces of the University of Tartu” was mounted, and a book called A Hundred Faces of the University of Tartu was published. The latter focused on 100 objects from the University of Tartu collections which enabled the scholars to describe their fields of activity. The exhibition travelled to the University’s various buildings around Estonia, thereby introducing colleagues to each other, and the University’s outstanding scholars to the students. Now the exhibition is part of a new permanent exhibition called The University of Our Lives at the Museum.

In second place were the “Egyptian Coffins Project” by the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge University, UK) and the “Return of Cultural Heritage Project: Manchester Museum Repatriation” by the Manchester Museum (University of Manchester, UK).


Nominees for the UMAC Award 2020

Today, the three nominees for the UMAC Award 2020 have been announced by Akiko Fukuno, Chair of the UMAC Award Committee.

We invite you to learn more about these three outstanding projects every Monday in September on our YouTube channel:

7 September: The Egyptian Coffins Project, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, with Steph Scholten (UMAC)

14 September: Return of Cultural Heritage Project, The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, with Akiko Fukuno (UMAC)

21 September: A Hundred Faces of the University of Tartu, Tartu University Museum, with Andrew Simpson (UMAC)

28 September: Announcement of the Winner of the UMAC Award