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New Islamic Art and Material Culture Subject Specialist Network

A new Subject Specialist Network for museum professionals responsible for collections of Islamic Art and Material Culture has been established, funded by Arts Council England for the first two years.

The network plans to identify what these collections are and where they are, across the whole of the UK and Ireland; to share information about the content of those collections, as well as provide an expertise sharing and networking service to the colleagues responsible for them; to offer an annual conference, as well as more specialised training workshops and study days; and above all to empower regional museums with the confidence to use these collections to engage local audiences, especially among their local Muslim communities.

A priority for the network is to identify and define the extent of Islamic collections across the UK and Ireland through a mapping project. This will allow the scope of these collections to be identified for the first time, and will also facilitate knowledge sharing between colleagues and institutions. To that end, the network has appointed a freelance researcher, Jenny Wright, to carry out this project between October 2013 and May 2014.  If you would like to contact Jenny, please email her at:

The network committee has appointed regional/local representatives for the major regions of the UK and Ireland, so if you have any queries or requests, please contact the South East regional rep is Catherine Harvey, Museum Education Officer and Keeper of World Art at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery (