Rosanna Nicolson is Assistant Curator, Middle East and South Asia, with research interests in Southeast Asia, costume and textiles, material culture, collectors and collecting, and colonial encounters. Rosanna is on leave until July 2021.

Rosanna Blakely

Rosanna Nicolson received an MA (hons) in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews and an MSc in Material Anthropology and Museum Ethnography from the University of Oxford. After completing her studies, Rosanna was employed as a Researcher for The Penrose Collection and volunteered in several collections roles. Prior to joining National Museums Scotland, Rosanna was Cataloguing Assistant at the Pitt Rivers Museum and an Archives Assistant at the Bodleian Library.

Rosanna joined the Department of World Cultures in March 2014 working as a Research Assistant on a short project called ‘Material Encounters – Reassessing Military Collecting in North America and Tibet’ funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme. A blog post on this project can be found on the Museum Ethnographers Group Blog.

In June 2014 Rosanna took up the post of Assistant Curator, working with collections from the Middle East and South Asia three days a week and supporting the work of department across all regional sections for two days a week.

In 2014 Rosanna worked on the temporary exhibition Indian Encounters (November 2014 - March 2015). Rosanna was part of the team that delivered the final phase of the museums fifteen year master plan; the Art of Ceramics, and the refreshed Artistic Legacies and Inspired Nature galleries, opened on 8 February 2019.

Rosanna has previously done research on 20th century missionary collections from India and Southeast Asia, and is currently working on the museum's collection from Borneo, particularly late 19th to early 20th century material acquired during the British colonial period. Rosanna is also currently an Associate Member of the Edinburgh Buddhist Studies research network, which launched in September 2019.


Selected publications

Voigt, F, Nicolson, R and Benson, L. (2017) 'Panjab Connections': A Young Roots Heritage Project at National Museums Scotland Journal of Museum Ethnography, No. 30, pp.24-48

Conference papers and posters

‘Advantageous Opportunities: Securing Objects from Borneo for Scotland’s National Museum’, European Association for Southeast Asian Studies Conference, Berlin, 2019

'The Investigation of Synthetic Dyes in Barkcloths from Sulawesi', Barkcloth Symposium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2018

''Growing Their Own Clothes': Barkcloth from Sulawesi in the Woodward's Missionary Collection', Museum Ethnographers Group Conference, Glasgow, 2017

'‘Led by my Love of Science’: Margaret Tytler’s Indian Models 1815 – 1821', Museums and Galleries History Group Conference, Oxford, 2016


Dress and Textiles from Highland South East Asia

A University of Glasgow Student Work Placement Project Jan – Apr 2017

Blog posts by Rosanna Nicolson

Explore our World Cultures collection with Assistant Curator Rosanna.
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