The network’s first workshop, ‘Institutions as Curators’, took place at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, on the 31st of March and the 1st of April 2017.

The workshop explored the changing manners in which institutions have conceived of and organised both disciplinary knowledge and physical collections.

The final programme is reproduced below, and can also be downloaded in convenient Word document form using this link.

Blog posts relating to this workshop can be seen here; posts by participants relating to the work that they presented are also linked from their entries in the programme below.


Friday March 31st


9:30am – Introduction

  • Matthew Sangster (University of Glasgow)
  • Jenny Buckley (University of York)


9:45am – Opening Talk:Institutions and Literature in the Seventeenth Century: From the Third University to the Royal Society’


10:45am – Tea


11:15am – Panel One: Organising Libraries

  • Robert Betteridge (National Library of Scotland): “Answerable to the Facultie”: the organisation of the Advocates Library in the early 18th century

(Grouped papers)

  • John West (Principal Libraries Manager, High Life Highland) and Julie Corcoran (Network Librarian, Inverness Library): The challenges facing public libraries in managing historic collections: a snapshot of the Highland experience
  • Melanie Manwaring-McKay (Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands): Charles Fraser-Mackintosh: Victorian Book Collecting in the Highlands: a research student’s perspective
  • Kristin Lindfield-Ott (Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands): The Inverness rare book collections as research, teaching and public engagement tool


1pm – Lunch


2pm – Panel Two: Sociability and Curation

  • Jill Dye (University of Stirling): Innerpeffray and Leighton Libraries: How 17th-century private collections, made publicly accessible, shape and are shaped by their users
  • Dustin Frazier-Wood (University of Roehampton): Collecting, Classifying, Circulating and Creating Knowledge at the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society
  • Anna Fleming (University of Leeds): Reconciliation and Continuity in Wordsworth’s Church


3:30pm – Tea


4pm – Panel Three: Musings on Museums

  • Nicola Watson (Open University): Curating Shakespeare: Making New Place New


5:30pm – Closing Discussion


6pm – Adjourn to Pub



Saturday April 1st


9:30am – Panel Four: The Uses and Users of Collections

  • Gena McNutt (University of Edinburgh): Joseph Ritson and the British Museum, 1775-1802
  • Ruth Abbott (University of Cambridge): George Eliot in the Biblioteca Magliabechiana


11am – Tea


11:30am – Discussion: Is curation a good metaphor for modelling institutional practices?

Principal Reading

Secondary Possibilities


12:30pm – Lunch


1:30pm – Panel Five: Expanding on ‘Literature’

  • Catherine Jones (University of Aberdeen): The Edinburgh Medical Society and the Institutionalisation of Natural Knowledge in the Early Scottish Enlightenment
  • Sarah Crofton (King’s College London): The Book as Medium: How Victorian Spiritualists created a shared syllabus of proof


3pm – Tea


3:30pm – Concluding Roundtable: Curation – Legacies and Futures

  • Alexandrina Buchanan (University of Liverpool)
  • Mungo Campbell (Hunterian Museum)
  • Giles Mandelbrote (Lambeth Palace Library)


5pm – Finish