We collect a range of material to document the changing environment and responses to it. For example, specimens, such as stranded whales, are collected and analysed to reveal important evidence of the impact of human activities on different species. By doing this cutting-edge research, our teams are uncovering hugely significant understandings of our activities are affecting the natural world and contributing to efforts to combat these.
We also collect cultural responses to environmental change, from protest art created by children to examples of renewable technologies to artistic works documenting the impact of fossil fuels.
The work of collecting environmental change is very different across different areas. Together, the objects we collect document this important aspect of contemporary life from a range of perspectives. Our collections are strong precisely because of the varied and interdisciplinary nature of this work.
Our natural sciences collection includes an internationally significant collection of marine mammals. Curatorial Preparator Georg Hantke explores how that collection continues to grow and how it informs new understanding of the whales, dolphins and porpoises found around the coasts of Scotland.Read more
Where does our plastic go? Dr Ali Clark considers how artworks by Oceanic artists made from recycled plastics present local solutions to a global problem.Read more
Curator Ellie Swinbank met Dr Faisal Ghani of Heriot-Watt University to accept his generous donation of a flat-pack solar energy collector for our collections.Read more
Discover a maker who works in wood, who is led by principles of sustainability, and whose skill is rooted in a deep appreciation for Scotland’s hills.Read more
A new acquisition highlighting the way our collections continue to document the impact of rapid environmental change.Read more
Over the last year, we have acquired several artefacts that discuss how the impact of the pandemic and wider socio-political subjects have inspired the creation of some remarkable works of art, craft and design that reflect these times.Read more
Fieldwork is a vital element of our work, enabling us to develop our collections. Assistant Curator of Entomology, Ashleigh Whiffin, joined a team of entomologists in the Natural Park of Sierras de Cazorla in Spain to do just that.Read more