Elsa Cox is Senior Curator of Technology.

Elsa CoxElsa cares for the technology collection which comprises civil and mechanical engineering, industries such as mining and textiles, office and domestic technology and her particular specialism which is the energy collection. This ranges from eighteenth century steam engines to cutting edge renewable energy technologies. She recently led the development of the new energy gallery Energise which opened as part of a major redevelopment project in 2016.

Elsa’s research interests include: energy technology and the politics and sociology of technology; contemporary science and technology collecting practices; and the history of the museum’s civil engineering collections.

Elsa gained her MSc Science & Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh, her dissertation focused on the relationship between National Museums Scotland and the nuclear energy industry during the process of decommissioning. She holds a PGDip Museum & Gallery Studies from the University of St Andrews and prior to this gained MA (Hons) Archaeology from the University of Glasgow.

Elsa sits on the steering committee for the Scottish Transport and Industry Collections Knowledge network (STICK) and the Dounreay Heritage Advisory Panel. She is a committee member for Recognised Collections of National Significance and a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts (RSSA). She is also Chair of the Scottish branch of the Newcomen Society: the international society for the history of engineering and technology.

Selected publications

  1. Cox, Elsa (2016) Energy well spent: practical approaches to contemporary collecting at the National Museum of Scotland. In: Patrimoine contemporain des sciences et techniques. La Documentation Française, Paris, pp. 321-330. ISBN 9782110099181
  2. Cox, Elsa (2016) The National Museum of Scotland's six new galleries of Science and Technology. Newcomen Links (239). pp. 6-8. ISSN 1478-484X
  3. Cox, Elsa (2016) Review of Viola: the life and times of a Hull steam trawler. The Mariner's Mirror, 102 (3). pp. 373-374. ISSN 2049-680X
  4. Cox, Elsa (2016) Celebrating James Watt: inventor, polymath, genius. Newcomen Links (237).
  5. Cox, Darren and Cox, Elsa (2014) A model object: the return of the Corliss at the National Museum of Scotland. Newcomen Links (232). pp. 8-9. ISSN 1478-484X
  6. Cox, Elsa (2014) ReINVENT: reconnecting and recreating 19th century Scottish textile manufacture. History Scotland, 14 (6). p. 6. ISSN 1475-5270
  7. Cox, Elsa (2012) The South Georgia Museum Ex-Whalers Oral History Project: recording the human history of the whaling industry. In: Managing Industrial and Cultural Heritage: South Georgia in context. The South Georgia Heritage Trust, Dundee, pp. 56-63.
  8. Cox, Elsa (2012) Preserving memories of the Antarctic whaling industry. History Scotland, 12 (3). pp. 14-15. ISSN 1475-5270

For further publications see: National Museums Scotland Research Repository.

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