Curating Human Remains in the UK conference

Wednesday – 20 January 2016  
Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol

The Curating Human Remains in UK Museums workshop in 2014 highlighted a sectoral need and professional interest in building confidence in curating human remains.  In response to this need, the Natural Science Collections Association (NatSCA), the Museums Ethnography Group (MEG) and the Society for Museum Archaeology (SMA) are hosting a day of talks and case studies relating to working with human remains.

modified human skull

Curating Human Remains











The aim of the conference is to address current legislation of the Human Tissue Act in relation to institutions that care for, display, research and store human remains.  The seminar will include examples of best practice and there will also be a section concerning recent case studies.

Human Remains Provisional Programme

9:30 – 10.00 Coffee and registration

10:00 – 11:00 Case studies of good practice
• Carina Phillips (Royal College of Surgeons) – how to approach the documentation/collections management, display and research use for the RCS human remains collections.

11:00 – 12:00 How to handle and store remains
• Heather Bonney (NHM)  – tba.

12:00 – 13.30 Lunch – this isn’t being provided so please bring lunch with you or you’re welcome to sample the delights of Bristol’s cuisine (if you would like somewhere to be booked this can be arranged).

13:30 – 14:30 Up to date legislation
• Myra Geisen (University of Newcastle) – the ethics and legislation in caring for human remains
• Caroline Browne (HTA) – tba.

14:30 – 17:30 Case studies of osteological reviews
• Rose Drew – Contextualised Remains: educational display versus public voyeurism: the crew of the Mary Rose
• Subhadra Das – A review of UCL’s Pathology Collections
• Lauren McIntyre – From excavation to accession: dealing with human skeletal assemblages in the commercial sector.
• Kristen Leith (University of Exeter/ RAMM) – Skulls in Discovering Worlds: how a Designation-funded project has opened up a recent study of Melanesian modified crania at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter
• Sue Giles and Lisa Graves (Bristol Museum & Art Gallery) – Death and the HTA: presenting their experience of using human remains in a temporary exhibition on death at Bristol Museum & Art gallery and how they found the process of applying for a HTA license and its impact on the museum.

Tickets can be purchased until 19.01.2016 from Eventbrite

Ticket prices are as follows = £30 NatSCA/MEG/SMA members; £20 students; £45 non members (Organisation members should use the promotional code ‘R3main5’ for discount.

Free parking is not available in the centre of Bristol or at the University. The nearest parking can be found at Jacobs Wells Road, Bristol, BS8 1EH (5 mins away) cost is £10 all day.

The nearest station is Bristol Temple Meads (25 minute walk or short bus ride by the 8 or 9 bus). There are also 3 park and ride options, all information can be found here and

WHEN – Wednesday, 20 January 2016 from 10 – 5pm (GMT)
WHERE – University of Bristol – Wills Memorial Building. Queens Road. Bristol, City of Bristol BS8 1RL GB