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Night at the Museum: Experts curating modern-day Britain bring debate to life

Date: 11/06/2015

Tonight (11 June 2015) an expert panel of cultural figures and curators will come together at the British Museum for the first of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 10th Anniversary Debates on the theme of ‘Curating the Nation’.

British Museum Director Neil MacGregor will be introducing the debate in the British Museum's BP Lecture Theatre. He is expected to stress the importance of museums and galleries to cultural life, and the value of the UK's research councils to curatorial research within those national institutions.

The expert panel includes Nick Merriman, Director of Manchester Museum; Richard Price, Head of Contemporary British Collections at the British Library; Kieran Long, Keeper of the Department of Design, Architecture and Digital at the V&A; and Hilary Roberts, Research Curator of Photography at Imperial War Museums.

From their varied perspectives and drawing on their extensive experience in the cultural sector, they will consider crucial questions like: How do we continue to secure access to national collections for future generations? What is the role of the national institution in a global world? And how should these cultural institutions respond to changing regional and national identities within the UK?

The debate will be chaired by Rebecca Bailey, Head of Education and Outreach at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Professor Rick Rylance, AHRC CEO, said:

The UK is blessed with rich collections documenting the human experience over millennia, from our everyday lives to world-changing moments. They are vital to our national life, our understanding of ourselves, and our place in the wider world. While many of the objects in museums and archives are ancient, their status and position in our lives are current. I am very much looking forward to hearing the discussion at the British Museum.

This debate is a collaboration between the AHRC, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museums and all the Independent Research Organisations. It marks the 10th anniversary of the Independent Research Organisation status which allows researchers working in such institutions to receive Research Council funding for their world-class research.

The event will be being live-streamed. To watch visit www.ahrc.ac.uk/curatingdebate and follow #ahrc10 or #curatingthenation

Further national debates held across the country will consider the AHRC's 10th Anniversary Debates theme of ‘The Way We Live Now’, including ‘The Challenge of Change’ at Newcastle University) and ‘Faith and Education’ at Cambridge University. For full information visit the AHRC website.

Doctoral students are invited to respond to the debate theme as part of The AHRC Anniversary Essay Competition. For full details of this opportunity, visit the AHRC website (PDF, 57KB).

For further information contact Alex Pryce (AHRC) on 01793 41 6025 or a.pryce@ahrc.ac.uk

Notes to Editors


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