Interior of a museum with keyboard instruments

Royal College of Music Museum awarded major grant, recognising significant contribution to research

Tuesday 9 April 2024

The Royal College of Music (RCM) Museum has been awarded a grant of over £1.1 million to be used over a five-year period in Research England’s Higher Education Museums, Galleries and Collections Fund. The only music museum to be awarded a grant in this scheme, the funding will support the Royal College of Music Museum’s work in advancing understanding of music culture through history and societies. 

Research England’s Higher Education Museum, Galleries and Collections Fund supports higher education museums, galleries and collections so they can meet the costs of serving the wider research community. It recognised the significant contribution and value of the Royal College of Music Museum’s collection-based research, object-based learning and the unique and significant contributions to national and international research. The grant also acknowledges the innovative offer to undergraduate and postgraduate studies, the museum’s public engagement programmes focused on research, as well as on-site and digital accessibility and proactive efforts to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Professor Gabriele Rossi Rognoni, Curator of the Royal College of Music Museum, commented: ‘The grant is a precious recognition of the national and international value of the Royal College of Music Museum and Collections to support research and education. It will enable us to continue building on the substantial investment made by the College and generously supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to advance the understanding, preservation and dissemination of music culture through history and societies.’ 

Professor Robert Adlington, Head of Research at the Royal College of Music, commented: ‘The Royal College of Music’s magnificent Museum and historic collections are not only assets to College staff and students, but also make extraordinary contributions to the wider research community in the UK and internationally. In marrying heritage and innovation and seeking to benefit the widest range of external users, the work of the Museum team embodies core aspects of the College’s vibrant research culture.’ 

One of the largest collections of its kind in the world, the Royal College of Music Museum houses over 14,000 musical items. It reopened in October 2021 after a £4.8 million redevelopment, and includes an accessible learning space, the Weston Discovery Centre, and the Wolfson Centre in Music and Material Culture. A centre of innovation, the museum recently used world-leading technology to create 3D models of rare instruments from the collections to protect against conservation concerns, while recent exhibitions include Hidden Treasures showcasing a world of curiosities from the RCM collections, and Music, Migration and Mobility which explored the story of émigré musicians from Nazi Europe in Britain.   

The RCM Museum is free to visit and is open Tuesday–Friday, 10.15am-5.45pm and Saturday–Sunday, 11am-6pm. The Museum also hosts a series of intimate concerts featuring RCM musicians performing on and amongst the artefacts. These take place on Friday lunchtimes and tickets can be booked online

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