European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

Research Field 03 - Network of Museums, Libraries and Public Cultural Institutions

Research Field 03: International Conference overview

Migrating heritage: networks and collaborations across European museums, libraries and public cultural institutions

International Conference, University of Glasgow, UK, 3-4 December 2012


Organised by
HoA - School of Culture and Creative Arts, University of Glasgow
as part of EC-funded FP7 project
European Museums in an Age of Migrations (MeLA)


How can museums define innovative practices, spaces and policies that reflect the challenges of building an inclusive Europe in an age of migrations? Such question is being addressed by European Museums in an age of migrations - MeLa (, a 4-year collaborative research project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities Program (FP7).

This MeLa conference, organised by the University of Glasgow explored innovative trans-national and trans-local partnerships, collaborations and policies between European museums, libraries & public cultural institutions around the themes of European cultural heritage for the arts and sciences, migration, cultural dialogue, and use of ICTs. What are the experiences and effects of collaboration, partnerships and networks around the core activities of archiving, preserving, displaying history and artefacts, and the associated categories of cultural value and identity? Is it possible to allow more flexible and heterogenic connections of public cultural institutions within the European/Mediterranean space? How are museums, libraries and public cultural institutions presenting themselves and interacting with multicultural audiences? What guidelines and policies could be suggested to support networking of public cultural institutions?

Conference program

A program is available online for conference Day 1 and Day 2. The conference booklet with abstracts and biographies is available for download as PDF.

The following institutions were represented by speakers at the conference: Australian National Maritime Museum; British Library; Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration; European Cultural Foundation; Europeana; Foundation for the History of Technology, The Netherlands; Génériques; Glasgow Museums; Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network; Harvard University; London South Bank University; Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle; Museum of the Resistance, Deportation, War, Rights and Freedom (Turin); Natural History Museum, London; Politecnico di Milano. Further institutions are also represented by the poster presenters.


Invited speakers
• Sharon MacDonald (Professor of Anthropology, University of York)
• Annet Henneman (Teatro Nascosto- Hidden Theatre)
• Rebecca Kay and Alison Phipps (Professors at University of Glasgow and convenors of Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network)

• Agnès Arquez Roth (Directrice réseau et partenariats, Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration)
• Eleanor Kelly (European Campaign Coordinator, Europeana) 

• Katherine Watson (Director of European Cultural Foundation)


Themes addressed in the conference
• Case studies on museums, libraries and public cultural institutions collaborating for European integration and cultural dialogue
• Operative approaches to multiculturalism, interculturalism, transculturalism in public cultural institutions
• National and transnational collaboration models: partnerships, cooperation, coordination
• European cultural policies, migration and mobility
• Identity, memory and heritage in European museums, libraries and public cultural institutions
• European narratives and cultural points of divergence and commonality
• European cultural and scientific heritages in a post-migratory world
• Archiving, preservation and exhibition technologies in relation to migration and mobility
• Politics of migrating objects, including repatriation
• Cross border tourism, customs and border policies, including souvenirs and museum replicas

The following audience categories participated to this conference:
• Scholars and PhD students in museum studies, cultural studies, social anthropology, sociology of organisations, library and information science, cultural policies, social sciences, human-computer interaction and related areas
• Practitioners from museums, libraries, public institutions
• Decision-makers and policy makers
• Users of cultural institutions and representatives of migrant communities


Conference scientific committee
• Dr Perla Innocenti, History of Art, CCA, University of Glasgow, MeLa RF03 leader and conference chair
• Dr John Richards, History of Art, CCA, University of Glasgow
• Andrew Greg, History of Art, CCA, University of Glasgow

Consulting partners
• Dept. of Human and Social Sciences, "Orientale" University of Naples
• Dept. of Industrial Design, Arts, Communication and Fashion (INDACO) - Politecnico di Milano
• Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet)
• Glasgow Museums