Continuing partnership between Kyoto University Museum and National Cheng Kung University Museum

During the International Symposium ‘Activities of University Museums and their Significance’, organised by the University Museum Association of Kyoto, at the end of last month, Kyoto University Museum and National Cheng Kung University Museum (NCKU), Taiwan, signed their second MoU to extend cooperation for another five years. 

Naoko Iwasaki and Jeng-Horng Chen, Directors of the Kyoto University Museum and NCKU Museum, respectively, after signing the second MoU, last month in Kyoto.

NCKU Museum visited Kyoto University Museum unofficially in 2008 for the first time after its own establishment in 2007 in order to learn from the experience of Kyoto. The first MoU between Kyoto University Museum and NCKU Museum was signed in 2013. Since then, they have been cooperating in collection research, academic symposiums, and management experience exchange. A recent cooperation is a collection research by a curator from NCKU Museum to study the collection of Taiwan’s aboriginals at Kyoto University, which will be exhibited in Taipei with a special traveling exhibition of the 14 members of University Museum Association of Kyoto in December 2019.

With this renewed MoU, NCKU Museum and Kyoto University Museum will soon cooperate in the planning of a traveling exhibition to Taiwan in 2020.

Message from Suay Aksoy to the 5th Forum of Brazilian University Museums

Marta Lourenço, UMAC President, reads the message from Suay Aksoy, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.


5th Forum of Brazilian University Museums

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

8 – 11 October 2018

It is with great appreciation that we observe this timely and meaningful Forum of the University Museums bringing together experts from various international organisations to exchange ideas and experiences on the current state and the future of the university museums in Latin America and beyond.

Brazil has been one of the most dynamic and productive centres for museology and museum practice globally. It is no wonder that so many Brazilian professionals took part in different posts of ICOM’s governance, an association of over 40 000 members organised in 141 countries and territories worldwide. Besides our UMAC, representatives of ICOM’s expert International Committees are here today.

We believe our Brazilian colleagues will present to the world another example to be learned from and followed with their tackling of the devastating fire in the National Museum of Brazil and its aftermath.

We, as ICOM, are willing and ready to assist the Brazilian professionals in their quest to turn this mishap into an opportunity to rehabilitate this museum and museums in general, to update pertinent legislations and to advocate for funding.

I extend my best wishes to all of you for a very successful and productive meeting.

Suay Aksoy

President of International Council of Museums (ICOM)


Foi com enorme satisfação que tomámos conhecimento deste significativo e oportuno Fórum de Museus Universitários, que reúne especialistas de várias organizações internacionais com o objetivo de promover a troca de ideias e experiências sobre o estado atual e o futuro dos museus universitários no Brasil e para além das fronteiras da América Latina.

O Brasil é reconhecido como um dos centros mais dinâmicos e produtivos na museologia e nas práticas museológicas a nível global. Não é, por isso, de admirar que tantos profissionais de museus brasileiros tenham vindo, ao longo do tempo, a ocupar diferentes lugares na governança do ICOM, uma organização que conta com mais de 40.000 membros em 141 países e territórios por todo o mundo. Para além do nosso UMAC, estão hoje aqui reunidos, em Belo Horizonte, vários membros de outros Comitês Internacionais especializados do ICOM.

Na sequência do incêndio devastador do Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro, seu rescaldo e consequências, acreditamos que, mais uma vez, os nossos colegas brasileiros darão ao mundo um exemplo com o qual todos possamos todos aprender e seguir. Nós, enquanto ICOM, estamos disponíveis e preparados para apoiar os profissionais de museus brasileiros na transformação desta calamidade numa oportunidade para reabilitar o Museu Nacional e os museus brasileiros em geral, bem como para rever e atualizar legislação relevante e defender o seu adequado financiamento. Estendo a todos os meus melhores votos de um bem sucedido e frutuoso Forum.

Suay Aksoy

Presidente do Conselho Internacional dos Museus (ICOM)

AAMG Annual Conference — Call for papers

Both higher education and civic responsibility are under siege today by economic, cultural, and political forces.  Yet both are essential for a robust democracy. What can those of us working in academic museums and galleries do to help reverse this trend, and how do we advocate effectively for this work among our key stakeholders?  


This year’s AAMG Annual Conference at the University of Minnesota invites you to reflect upon our relevance to parent institutions and local communities. Can we effectively bridge increasingly polarized values and priorities among our broad constituencies and still fulfill our mission and core values?  How do we mentor students in the digital age? And what can we do to transform our institutions to reflect shifting demographics, financial challenges, and new learning methodologies?


We invite you to submit conference proposals that address these questions and topics. Please submit your proposal using this link by December 1, 2018.  


Please indicate all areas that your proposal addresses:

  • Student success, including museum studies/museum practice, other curricular-based models, and extracurricular connections

  • New academic partnerships

  • The museum as community center, stimulating dialog and civic responsibility

  • Advocacy in campus and among other stakeholders

  • Building diversity among staff and advisory boards

  • Financial sustainability


Presentation Formats

Presenters may select from the following formats for their proposals:


Roundtable Facilitator:

Would you like to lead a conversation on a specific topic? These lively discussions will be held on Thursday afternoon at the University of Minnesota museums (details to come). We invite you to propose a topic and explain why your skills, experiences, and interests will contribute to your success as a discussion leader, particularly as this relates to conference’s theme.  As the Roundtable Facilitator, you will welcome attendees, offer a 5-10 minute overview about the topic and your personal connection to it, and then facilitate a conversation with those present. Roundtables run 1 ¼ hours.



We select up to 10 presenters for 5 minute (no more than 20 slides) talks on Thursday evening, during our opening reception.  We call it a “Throwdown” because it’s high energy, quick-paced, and foregrounds powerful ideas. This is an excellent opportunity for students and emerging professionals to share a special program or practice.



Panels are the heart of our conference.  Over two days, we anticipate having 18 panels. That breaks down to 9 panels per day: 3 simultaneous sessions 3 times per day, one in the morning and two in the afternoon.  Panels are 1-1/4 hours each and have 2-3 presenters, with one panelist or convener serving as moderator. A minimum of 15-20 minutes should be reserved for dialogue with your audience, following the presentations. All presentations should be in PowerPoint format, and the moderator is responsible for gathering the presentations and bringing them on a laptop. The moderator is also responsible for time-keeping. Tell us the topic, what each presenter will contribute, and how the proposal relates to the conference theme. If you would like to lead a panel but need to find panelists, you can query the AAMG listserv or social media platforms for participants.


Poster Sessions:

Tell us the topic, why it is relevant to the theme, and confirm that you will be present for the conference. Poster specifications are as follows: Each presenter will have an easel, a black foam core support (40” x 32”), and two heavy duty clamps. Dimensions are limited to 40” x 32” (101.6 cm x 81.28 cm).



Would you like to lead a workshop that strengthens museum practice? We are willing to share the income.  Tell us what you would teach, what your experience is leading this, how long you would like your workshop to run (full or half day), and your minimum number of attendees.  Workshop day to be determined, but it will likely be Sunday morning.


Submit your proposal online via Google Forms:

Deadline for submitting your proposal is: December 1, 2018


Questions? Please contact the Program Committee Co-Chairs:

Jill Hartz,

Craig Hadley,

AAMG Website

Strengthening global university museum collaboration in China

UMAC President, Marta Lourenço, recently signed two significant agreements in Shanghai, spin offs of UMAC’s partnership with the Qian Xuesen Library and Museum of Shanghai Jiao Tong University since 2016. 

The first is for the development of a university museum app for iOS and Android (pilot version). 

Marta Lourenço and Zhao Ke, director of the Electronic Science and Technology Museum (ESTM) (photo courtesy QLM-SJTU).

This is a partnership with The Electronic Science and Technology Museum (ESTM) of the University Electronic Science and Technology (UESTC) in Chengdu. This is a university museum, and the first comprehensive electronic science and technology museum in China. UMAC President Marta Lourenco says “We are committed to increasing the visibility of university museums and collections worldwide. With the ubiquity of hand held devices these days, this development will make UMAC’s world-wide database more accessible to a broader global audience.” “We believe China’s Electronic Science and Technology Museum, as a university museum are excellent partners for this enterprise. We are delighted to be working with them. It will bring data about university museums to everyone’s phone.” 

The second is the translation of Journal editions into Chinese. This is an agreement with Shanghai University Museum. UMAC has been publishing a journal since 2001. This agreement will make the University Museums and Collections Journal (UMACJ) available to a new and large sector of museum practitioners and university administrators.

Marta Lourenço and LIU Shaoxue, Director Shanghai University Museum (photo QLM-SJTU).

UMACJ Editor Andrew Simpson says “We are working towards making UMACJ the primary academic source for the emerging speciality of university museum work. This agreement will engage Chinese university museum curators and scholars in the work of UMAC”.

Read the full media release.

Opuscula Musealia — Call for Papers

Opuscula Musealia, an international journal established in 1986 by the Museum of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, is inviting submissions of manuscripts for an upcoming issue, devoted to museum collections. Articles are welcome on (although not exclusively):

  –   history of collecting and collections

  –   historical and modern collecting practices

  –   forgotten or lost collections

  –   intangible collections and how to present them

  –   collecting as a social phenomenon.

   –  collections display in museum (e.g. how to modernize them)

Opuscula Musealia is an open journal that publishes high-quality articles preferably in English, Polish (German and French are also possible) in all areas of:

  • museology
  • art history
  • scientific instruments and history of science
  • history of universities
  • archeology
  • artefact studies
  • restoration science
  • management and curation
  • law issues concerning museums

Deadline: March 31st 2019

Submit your manuscript(s) to Maria Natalia Gajek, curator and editorial secretary:

Read more here.

Jagiellonian University Museum Collegium Maius


UMAC (ICOM) Statement on Protection of Museum Infrastructure

Museu Nacional, a museum at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Museums are the custodians of the world’s artistic, cultural, and scientific heritage. They hold the evidence of human civilization, culture, creativity, imagination, and knowledge in their collections. Museums are institutions of research, investigation, inquiry, and learning.

A ravaging fire engulfed the Museu Nacional, a museum at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The incalculable loss of the collections of the largest natural history museum in Latin America has brought the fragility of many museums to the world’s attention.

At the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, and in other university museums and collections across the world, irreplaceable objects, specimens, and repositories of knowledge have been lost to preventable disasters. The potential for future catastrophes is enormous as museum facilities age and economic stresses afflict nations and academic institutions. Financial pressure often results in the neglect of the infrastructure in museums.

The devastating fire in Brazil in September 2018 calls attention to the potential for the dire consequences of lack of attention to basic fire prevention systems. To delay any primary disaster prevention infrastructure system seems inexcusable if governments and institutions have any care at all for the preservation of the heritage of their country or institution.

As well as preventing the destruction of physical property, decision makers for governments and universities should be aware of the basic needs for preservation of collections and archives. Physical copies stored offsite are cumbersome and space intensive. A digital database of the collections and digital records of archives and research stored on several offsite servers will preserve at least some records of the accumulated knowledge and a record of the destroyed collections.

Governments and institutions can prevent the catastrophic loss of knowledge if they invest a relatively modest sum in basic disaster preparedness systems in museums and other areas where collections are held and invest in digital storage of collections records and other archives.

UMAC, the International Council of Museums committee on University Museums and Collections, reiterates its full solidarity and support to the Museu Nacional and calls upon national and academic leaders to take responsibility for the preservation of the heritage at risk in their museums. The investment is relatively modest compared to the potential for disaster that exists when these needs are neglected. The inattention of leaders to their responsibilities for the protection of museums and collections and the resources they hold leads to the loss of some of humankind’s greatest treasures–artistic, cultural, and scientific. The knowledge of humankind’s history is at risk. UMAC calls upon leaders—national and academic— to take on the responsibility that is theirs, that is, to protect these treasures.

UMAC Board, 8 September 2018