The Oriental Museum plays an important role in a number of international partnerships at Durham University.
National Museum of Japanese History
In March 2017, Durham University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Stuart Corbridge, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Museum of Japanese History (NMJH). Director-General of NMJH, Prof Hiroshi Kurushima, was present and signed the MOU. This agreement will support a research and engagement partnership between the Oriental Museum and the NMJH.
The five year agreement will focus on the development of a bi-lingual catalogue of the Japanese collections held at the Oriental Museum. In addition specialists from both museums will work on a range of projects to promote the collections to visitors by making improvements to the permanent gallery, enhancing the offer for schools and collaborating on special exhibitions.
The agreement will also bring Japanese specialists to Durham to work with students studying a range of subjects. Updates on the project will be posted here.
The Palace Museum, Beijing
In December 2016, Durham University and China’s Palace Museum signed an agreement, bringing together these two world-renowned centres of research and cultural excellence for the first time. The agreement, which is the first between the Palace Museum and an English university, builds on Durham University’s already strong links with China.
The new partnership has developed from research currently being undertaken between the University’s Department of Archaeology and experts from the Palace Museum in Beijing, into early examples of Chinese porcelain found in Europe. The research aims to reveal more about the trading history of China as far back as the tenth Century AD.
The agreement will see the Department of Archaeology working closely with experts at the Palace Museum on research in areas such as the distribution of ancient Chinese cultural artefacts in the Middle East and Europe. Opportunities for collaboration on teaching in areas including museums and heritage will also be explored.
Curators at the Oriental Museum will also have the opportunity to share expertise on exhibition planning and cultural engagement. The agreement could see staff from each organisation working together to share knowledge, expertise, skills, research and training.