New issue UMACJ: Pedagogy Hub

University collections and museums are increasingly used for teaching. The latest issue of the University Museums and Collections Journal (Vol. 13, No. 2), edited by Alistair Kwan and Andrew Simpson, brings together essays from all over the world on the roles of university collections for state of the art pedagogy. 

As Alistair Kwan writes in the issue: “As this collection of essays shows, there are important things for university museums and collections—as hubs—to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning, and to the steering of our universities into exercising their sociocultural, epistemic and economic privileges more critically, more wisely, more ethically, more influentially over the coming century of widely anticipated struggle.”

Access the issue here.


New thematic issue UMACJ

Call for proposals for a thematic issue of University Museums and Collections Journal UMACJ

UMAC, ICOM’s International Committee for university museums and collections, through 2020 and 2021 have undertaken an “Ethics of Repatriation and Restitution” study in partnership with other ICOM groups (ETHCOM, ICME and ICOM Australia), and with UNIVERSEUM, the European network of university museums. This project was part of ICOM’s commitment to research and address issues of decolonization. The project involved considerable international dialogue and exchange between university museums and source communities. It resulted in a draft set of guidelines designed to assist universities on the issue of restitution and repatriation and augment the ICOM Code of Ethics.

The project uncovered many interesting examples of repatriation from the higher education sector as part of university decolonisation strategies. We are now seeking to capture these for a thematic edition of the University Museums and Collections Journal. Given that the issue of repatriation will dominate the coming generation or two of museum practice, we believe it is important to capture the details of some of the initial repatriation efforts from universities. Universities must address the issue of heritage tainted with histories of violence, forceful occupation, oppression, exploitation, unethical research, and war.  Most importantly, we must go beyond university museums, deep into our departments, laboratories and institutes, which are full of items embodying uncomfortable truths.

We are seeking two different types of papers with this call:

  1. Papers that discuss and scope the changes in universities and university museums currently underway and frame these within the theoretical contexts of either museology, education, sociology, cultural studies or organisation and institution theory, or some combination of these.
  2. Case studies of your university repatriation experience in the form of a proposal (under 1000 words) for a full article. Aspects that should/could be included are:-
  • What was the nature of material repatriated?
  • How and why did it initially become part of the university?
  • Were you approached by source communities seeking material, or did you seek out source communities, or work with third parties?
  • Why was it the right time to repatriate material?
  • Did the repatriation provide learning, teaching and research opportunities? Will these be ongoing after the repatriation?
  • Was there any resistance to the repatriation?
  • Did the university (and university museum/collection) change as a result of the repatriation, including relationships with staff, students, alumni? If so, how?

For the case studies we prefer papers that are jointly authored by university practitioners and people from or representing source communities.

We are seeking both papers that either comply with or challenge the set of guidelines as currently expressed. You can find the guidelines here.

This thematic issue of UMACJ represents an opportunity to both develop a discourse around the changing paradigms of knowledge generation in higher education, and document some specific instances on the cusp of what is likely to be a generational change in our knowledge-based organisations as universities and their museums are transformed from being fixed points of cultural authority to fluid networks of cultural agency.

Proposals due: 31 December 2021.

Send proposal to

Publication: aiming for late 2022 or early 2023

This special issue will be edited by: Steph Scholten (The Hunterian, University of Glasgow), Jilda Andrews (Australian National University), Nicole Crawford (University of Wyoming), Andrew Simpson (Macquarie University).

New issue of UMACJ is out

Volume 13, No. 1 of the University Museums and Collections Journal is out. The issue comprises the book of abstracts of the 2021 UMAC-Universeum annual conference.

It was edited by Maria Economou, Andrew Simpson, Marta C. Lourenço, Nathalie Nyst and Sébastien Soubiran.

Full access here.


UMACJ: Call for Papers

University Museums and Collections Journal

The journal about museology and higher education

ISSN 2071-7229

The University Museums and Collections Journal is a peer-reviewed, on-line journal published by the International Committee for University Museums and Collections (UMAC), a Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

The journal publishes original research on aspects of museology and museum practice in higher education globally. Articles published in the University Museums and Collections Journal explore theoretical concepts of museology in a higher education setting. Leading scholarship on the materiality of higher education also features.

The Editorial Board of the Journal welcomes original articles submitted by researchers at any time. We also welcome correspondence with authors on possible contributions to the Journal.

For information on publishing your work in the journal, the Editorial Board, the review process, selection criteria and submission guidelines, please read more here.

For further questions and correspondence on publishing in our journal, please contact the Editor Andrew Simpson.



UMACJ Chinese edition

Cover UMACJ 9 in Chinese.

In September 2018, UMAC signed an agreement with Shanghai University Museum, China, to provide translations of our journal University Museums and Collections Journal (UMACJ) into Chinese.

This agreement allows UMACJ to be available to a new and large sector of museum practitioners and university administrators as a free open source publication.

Volumes 8 & 9 of UMACJ are now available with more to follow soon.

UMAC is deeply grateful to the Shanghai University Museum for this important work through our on-going partnership.

UMACJ No 10 is out!

The latest issue of UMACJUniversity Museums and Collections Journal — has just been released.

Edited by Panu Nykänen, Barbara Rothermel and Andrew Simpson, UMACJ 10 comprises a selection of papers from UMAC’s Annual Conference in Finland in 2017, featuring case studies from university museums and collections in Albania, Australia, Estonia, China, Greece, and many others.

The issue also includes a special article by Panu Nykänen offering some perspectives on the formation of UMAC in 2001.

UMACJ is an open access journal and No. 10 can be downloaded here.

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.