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Museums and Galleries


Research in many areas of the arts and humanities relies heavily on the unique resources and expertise of the UK's museums, galleries, archives and libraries. Equally, museums, galleries, archives and libraries themselves require high quality accessibility and visibility, and provide an important route for arts and humanities research to be communicated to a wider audience.


The AHRC is committed to engaging with this sector: in 2005, we held a consultation into the situation and future requirements of these organisations, which led to the development of the Museums and Galleries Research Programme. We have also worked with several of the UK’s larger museums in bestowing Independent Research Organisation status, allowing them to apply to us directly for funding.

The Programme

The Museum and Galleries Research Programme, launched in 2005/06, aimed to operate as an umbrella programme, pulling together existing funding opportunities, offering specific funding for certain activities, and supporting other activities of interest to the sector. Early in the programme, funding was awarded through two schemes: the programme will not award further funds, but will continue to support this community through providing advice and encouragement to apply for funding through AHRC’s other schemes. 

Museums, Galleries, Libraries and Archives Research Workshops

Funding was awarded to support proposals to run a series of workshops aiming to facilitate interaction between museums, galleries, libraries and archives, and universities.

Museums, Galleries, Archives and Libraries Research Grants

In 2008, thirteen large collaborative research projects were funded by a call aiming to support collaboration between researchers based in UK universities and experts from the museums, galleries, archives and libraries community. The projects all involve scholarly research to underpin an exhibition, located in or via the museum partner(s).

Some of these awards have been developed as case studies of the societal and economic impact of AHRC awards; more information is available under the impact section of our website.