Explorathon 2016 and Library Heritage Collections

explorathon-16-imageExplorathon is the largest celebration for European Researchers’ Night across Scotland and last Friday saw the celebration’s third year.

Researchers from across the University of Glasgow showcased their work to the public with events throughout the day at different venues across the city. A number of these events showcased the University Library’s heritage collections!

Dr Jen Novotny and Orla O’Brien, Erskine Hospital archivist, popped up at ‘Kelvingrove Unlocked’ along with Dr Bergman from the University’s Institute for Health and Wellbeing, and also inter-disciplinary students from the University of Glasgow ‘Helping Hands’ club for ‘Smart Affordable Prosthetics’. They shared the story of Erskine Hospital’s pioneering artificial limbs, comparing them to modern day artificial limbs developed at the University of Glasgow. Erskine Hospital is a charity that was founded 100 years ago to care for soldiers and sailors who lost limbs. Find out more about the Erskine Story at the Hunterian Museum exhibition ‘In War and Peace: The Erskine Story’ .The Erskine charity continues today as Scotland’s foremost provider of care for veterans and their spouses.

The Hunterian Museum also had a busy day with ‘Hunterian Uncovered’: a chance for the public to discover some of the secrets behind The Hunterian’s collection. Visitors were treated to some of the wonders held in the historical medical and anatomical collections of Scotland’s oldest public museum.

In the University Library, Dr Anita Quye revealed how science and technology transformed the industrial coal tar waste of Victorian Britain into colourful synthetic dyes, kick-starting the foundation of modern organic chemistry along the way in her talk ‘Crinolines, Coal Tar and the Colourists’. Anita’s talk also featured an exciting take-home experiment to measure the impact of daylight on textiles!

The University Archives were on show at the buzzing ‘Explorathon Extravaganza’ in the Glasgow Science Centre with the story of the discovery of the Zika Virus by Glasgow Professor Alexander Haddow in 1948. Alexander Haddow was Professor of Administrative Medicine at the University. He was also Director of the Yellow Fever Research Institute in Uganda and was a key part of the team that discovered the Zika Virus. You can find out about our Haddow collection on the Zika Virus collections page.

Explorathon 2016 was a great showcase of the ground breaking research going on at the University of Glasgow and it was fantastic to see our heritage collections involved!

Categories: Archives and Special Collections

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