UCL News


Sally MacDonald appointed Director of UCL Museums and Collections

24 March 2006

UCL (University College London) has announced that Sally MacDonald has been appointed as its new Director of UCL Museums and Collections.

UCL has one of the most important and diverse range of museums and collections in the country, including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, the Grant Museum of Zoology, and an extensive art collection that includes works by Durer, Mantegna, Stanley Spencer and Augustus John.

The Director is responsible for developing UCL's internationally important museums and specialist collections, making sure they are actively used in teaching and research within the university, and promoting them as a source of inspiration for the broader community.

Sally MacDonald said: "I have chosen to work in museums because I believe in their potential to inspire, enrich and empower people. Having worked at UCL for the last seven years, I am aware of the enormous opportunity offered by these extraordinary collections, the interdisciplinary academic environment, and a committed senior management. I want to see the university museum reinvented as a forum for academic/ public engagement.

"UCL is exemplary among universities in recognising that its world class collections are among its greatest assets, alongside its outstanding museum studies and conservation courses, an extremely talented group of curators and exceptionally high quality object-based teaching and learning. Most importantly for me, UCL is really prepared to take risks and to debate subjects such as disposal, repatriation, and the politics of curation. University museums have both the freedom and the responsibility to be constructively provocative.

"Over the next four years we will be constructing a new Institute for Cultural Heritage, which - as well as housing some of UCL's most significant collections - will act as a public laboratory for some of these ideas. It's a tremendously exciting time."

Professor Michael Worton, Vice Provost (Academic and International), said: "This is an exciting time for UCL's four registered museums and twelve departmental collections as we aim to make UCL Museums and Collections a beacon of innovation and best practice. Sally MacDonald has both vision and the energy and skills to implement her vision. We could not have found a better leader for our curators and conservators."

Notes for Editors

1. Images of Sally MacDonald are available from the UCL Media Relations Office.

2. Sally MacDonald takes over as Director of UCL Museums and Collections from Dr Nick Merriman, who has recently taken up post as Director of the Manchester Museum.