‘A unique display demonstrating the evolutionary journey’

Hands-on history at new festival

By Published On: 10th August 20222.9 min readCategories: Events Featured

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A new festival celebrating History and Heritage will give families a chance to enjoy a north-east museum which has been a staple of school trips and family days out for almost half a century.

The University of Aberdeen’s UNI-Versal festival has launched its fourth mini series – this time dedicated to our past – which will run from September 15-17.

‘Rani the tiger’

Rani the tiger

From its imposing skeleton of an elephant, often recalled as a wooly mammoth, to Rani the Bengal tiger and an ever-popular display demonstrating the evolutionary journey, the University of Aberdeen’s Zoology Museum has long been a favourite for a free day out.

Special tours of the museum have been arranged running on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the Festival – just one of the many family-friendly and free events on offer across the weekend.

Other highlights include a walking tour exploring the history of the Cruickshank Garden where visitors can discover its claim to fame as the original home of an earlier version of Aberdeen Football Club and a tour of the Dons’ current home including a sneak peak at the home team dressing room, press room, tunnel and the famous Pittodrie pitch.

‘A scene from a video game based on Aberdeen’s Burgh Records’

A scene from a video game based on Aberdeen’s Burgh Records

Where fact meets fiction is the topic for a workshop exploring how we share our history through storytelling. The role of writer Walter Scott in shaping views of Scotland through the centuries will be examined in a session to mark the 250th anniversary year of his birth and the life; and work of Aberdeen’s first printer will be shared as part of a series of engaging historical talks.

Visitors to the Sir Duncan Rice Library can get up close to hundreds of years of history with a display of treasures from the University’s archive including a book dating from the 12th century and an item that once belonged to the University’s founder, Bishop Elphinstone.

Anyone who thinks their old text books are gathering dust can also take a look at a law book printed in 1511 and used by early students of the University studying Civil law, which is still in its original binding complete with paper label!

‘Arts & Culture’

The University of Aberdeen’s Zoology Museum has long been a favourite free day out

Bringing history to life will be demonstrated by University historians who led the creation of a video game based on Aberdeen’s Burgh Records which allows gamers to enter the city in 1498, when it was trying to keep out the deadly Plague.

The UNI-Versal History and Heritage Festival is produced in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen Museums and Special Collections team as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

“The University of Aberdeen has a history dating back to 1495 so we have five centuries-worth of stories, artefacts and historical research to share,” said Neil Curtis, Head of Museums and Special Collections.

“Our first History and Heritage Festival as part of UNI-Versal will showcase highlights of our own past as well as that of the wider region and beyond.”

Most events at the History and Heritage are free of charge and booking is required for some sessions. Please visit  https://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/uni-versal/heritage/index.php