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Glasgow & Strathclyde

Egypt in Glasgow and Strathclyde

Find out more about ancient Egyptian collections in East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

East Ayrshire

East Ayrshire Leisure 

The collection cared for by East Ayrshire Leisure was initially formed in Kilmarnock, as part of the Dick Institute, which was opened in 1901 following the provision of funding by Kilmarnock-born industrialist James Dick (1823–1902).

The collection is built up primarily of material collected by visitors and tourists to Egypt, including amulets and metal figurines, faience shabtis and small Coptic objects. Most of the collection was initially lent by a Mrs H. L. Parker. East Ayrshire Leisure also cares for two artworks by David Young Cameron (1865–1945), depicting Luxor temple and the fort at the Moqattam Hills, Cairo. 

Please note: No public display of the Egyptian material currently 

Collections size: <45 objects

Glasgow City

Glasgow Museums

Glasgow Museums includes the collections on display in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and The Burrell Collection. As one of the largest collections of Egyptian objects in Scotland, it covers all periods of Egyptian history from many archaeological sites.

As an active financial sponsor of excavations, the collection includes objects from archaeological work undertaken by the Egypt Exploration Society, British School of Archaeology in Egypt, Egyptian Research Account and John Garstang (1876–1956). A selection of the collection was donated to the museum by the Egypt Research Students Account and the Glasgow Egypt Society, organisations founded by Janet May Buchanan (1866–1912) to support excavations.

Buchanan curated the first exhibition of Egyptian material in Glasgow, held in 1912, but tragically died a few weeks after its opening. Consequently, a number of objects were donated to the museum by the associations that she founded and by her relatives. The collection has also expanded through gifts and bequests from archaeological collectors including John Galloway, Ludovic Mann (1895–1955), Heywood Walter Seton-Karr (1859–1938), Rev Colin Campbell (1848–1931) and W M Flinders Petrie (1853–1942).

The Burrell Collection represents the acquisitions of businessman Sir William Burrell (1861–1958) who gifted his entire 9,000 object collection to the city in 1944, including over 300 Egyptian objects.

The collection includes several objects relating to individuals of historic importance, including a limestone stela of Senenmut, several monuments created by the workmen of Deir el-Medina and a statue of Paraherwenemef, son of King Ramesses II.

One of the most iconic objects in the museum’s entire collection is the massive granite sarcophagus of Pabasa, formerly in the collection of Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767–1852). He displayed it in the Egyptian Hall of Hamilton Palace in 1834 where it remained until the building was demolished in 1919. It was then presented, in 1922, to Glasgow Museums by the Trustees of the Hamilton Estates and has been on public display in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum ever since.  

Collections size: >4300 objects 

Please note: The Burrell Collection is currently closed for a refurbishment and is due to re-open in Spring 2021. 

The Hunterian (University of Glasgow)

Scotland's oldest public museum has a sizeable collection of ancient Egyptian objects, alongside its Roman, Cypriot and Near Eastern collections. Many of the objects within the collection come from the excavations of Sir Flinders Petrie and John Garstang, as well as from the work of the Egypt Exploration Society.

The collection is diverse and ranges from tiny amulets to large stone stelae. One of the highlights of the current display is the highly decorated coffin the Lady Shepenhor (Thebes, c.600BC). The Hunterian also houses the internationally important collection of ostraca and tomb facsimile paintings from the collection of Rev. Colin Campbell.

Collections size: >1500 objects


McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Watt Institution, Greenock

The McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Watt Institution has collected in a number of different fields since it opened in 1876, building upon the work of the Greenock Philosophical Society and its earlier 1816 museum.

98% of the Egyptian collections at the McLean were received from excavations conducted by the Egypt Exploration Society, which the society and museum intermittently supported from 1888 until 1914. Notable objects in the collection include a large fragment of carved relief from the Temple of Bastet at Tell Basta and a coffin and cartonnage mummy-case from the excavations of Naville at Herakleopolis Magna, which are two of very few surviving examples of coffin/case from this site. 

Collections size: >400 objects

North Lanarkshire

Culture North Lanarkshire 

Culture North Lanarkshire is known to have one wooden shabti figure which has not been identified. Archival material at the University of Liverpool records that 42 ceramic vessels were gifted to Airdrie Museum by the archaeologist John Garstang (1876–1956) on behalf of the Beni Hasan Excavation Committee in April 1904. This donation was part of his offer of pottery to interested educational institutions as advertised in The Times in 1904. 

Please note: No public display of the Egyptian material currently 

Collections size: <50 objects 


Paisley Museum and Art Gallery (Renfrewshire Leisure)

Paisley Museum was Scotland's first municipal museum which opened in in 1871 and incorporated collections that had been amassed by the Paisley Philosophical society since 1808.

A major donor was Peter Coats, a partner in the large firm of thread makers J&P Coats, and he paid for new art and sculpture galleries in 1882. The collection represents most periods in Egyptian history. The core of the collection was formed through the Egypt Exploration Fund (Society) and the British School of Archaeology in Egypt, after support had been gained thanks to a lecture given by Amelia Edwards. Subscriptions later lapsed, until following the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, enthusiasm for Egyptology lead to renewed funding of the EES.  A further 81 objects were donated to Paisley Museum by the Royal Scottish Museum (now National Museums Scotland) in 1955.

Please note: Paisley Museum is currently closed for refurbishment, it is due to reopen in 2022. In the meantime Paisley: The Secret Collection, a publicly accessible collections store is running guided tours.

Collections size: >300 objects

Ancient Egyptian Collections in Glasgow And Strathclyde
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