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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Grant Museum wins Museums and Heritage Award Culture Pros Pick

By Mark Carnall, on 16 May 2013

Team Grant receiving their Museums and Heritage Award

Team Grant receiving their Museums and Heritage Award

Rarely are the Grant Museum team allowed out. At the end of a typical day we’re stuffed back into our respective cases until the next morning when zoologising begins at dawn. Last night was an exception however as the team headed down to the illustrious premises of 8 Northumberland for the 11th Museums and Heritage Awards, the Oscars of the museum world if you will.

We were shortlisted for the Culture Pros Pick Award for the most inspiring museum or heritage visitor attraction. Over 500 nominations were received and the five museums that received the most nominations were put through to a public vote. This is the first time one of the Museums and Heritage Awards has been voted for by the public and we were suitably edge-of-our-seats with anticipation for most of last night. Our fellow nominees were Amlwch Copper Bins, Dorking Museum & Heritage Centre, Museum of London, and Stow Maries Aerodrome.

However, if you read the title of this post then you may already gathered that we won it! To prove it, here’s Scary Monkey with the award, complete with our grubby fingerprints from last night:

Awards are not for monkeys

Woolly Monkey is chuffed to work at the Multi-Award winning Grant Museum of Zoology

We actually picked up two awards last night, we were accidentally given the Innovations Award trophy (again, we won this award last year), the evening’s host Sue Perkins mixed up the awards but eventually we managed to get the right trophy.

Winning this award is very exciting for the team, particularly as it was voted for by the public. We heartily thank all of our film buffs, twitter followers, animal lovers, lunch hour browsers, colleagues, peers, students, families, artists and young dinosaur geeks who made the effort to vote for us in this category. We pour our hearts and souls into the work we do at the Grant Museum and this award is evidence that we’re doing a good job of it. After all, without our visitors and users we’re just a room of stuff. The day to day running of the museum is done by a team of five, some of who are part time, but we have hundreds of colleagues from our department, UCL Museums and Public Engagement, across UCL and the wider university and museums sectors we work with who we want to thank for supporting and inspiring us.

You can see the full list of winners, commendations and nominees from last night’s awards here.

With last year’s award and this one we hopefully have a breeding pair, as I type this Grant Museum manager Jack Ashby and Director of Museums and Public Engagement Sally MacDonald are on their way to Belgium as the Grant Museum is nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award, the ceremony for which is this Saturday so don’t uncross your fingers just yet!

Mark Carnall is the Curator of the Grant Museum of Zoology

UPDATE 17/05/2013: Added the image from the awards ceremony.

6 Responses to “Grant Museum wins Museums and Heritage Award Culture Pros Pick”

  • 1
    Daniel wrote on 16 May 2013:

    Congratulations, well deserved and hard worked for. Job well done all round!

  • 2
    Susan England wrote on 16 May 2013:

    I have only visited the Grant Museum once but it is easy to see why you have been won this award. Your professionalism, devotion to the subject, and imaginative ways in which you convey not only the information about the exhibits but also what fun and intensely interesting, zoology can be. Many congratulations!

  • 3
    Mark Carnall wrote on 16 May 2013:

    Thank you both very much.

  • 4
    Sculpture Season opens today | UCL UCL Museums & Collections Blog wrote on 5 June 2013:

    […] and while the team here is a creative one (otherwise – boast boast – we wouldn’t keep winning awards) we can definitely benefit from completely different eyes and minds looking at our […]

  • 5
    Tiny Praise for the Micrarium at the Museums + Heritage Awards | UCL UCL Museums & Collections Blog wrote on 15 May 2014:

    […] was our third year on the shortlist, and after winning the Award for Innovations in 2012 and the Guardian Cultural Pros Pick (a public vote to find the UK’s most inspiring museum) in 2013, hopes were high that the Micrarium¬†(our place for tiny things) would pick up the Award for […]

  • 6
    On the Origin of Our Specimens: The Carnall Years | UCL UCL Museums & Collections Blog wrote on 13 November 2014:

    […] and editing the book Conversation Pieces was very fulfilling. The Museum winning, not one, but two Museums and Heritage Awards was incredibly gratifying and rewarding too. Can I cop out with a vague top four or […]

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