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Past issues

Daguerreotype portrait of Francis Marrian by George Shaw

Autumn 2023

Welcome to the Autumn issue of the Science Museum Group Journal. This is an open issue that is especially strong in demonstrating the power of museum collections in research – the ‘material turn’ about which so much has been written. A case in point is the mini-collection Revealing Observatory Networks Through Object Stories in which […]
Photograph of piano felts being brushed out

Autumn 2022

Congruence Engine

We start 2023 with a double-sized special issue showcasing the Congruence Engine project. Part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Towards a National Collection suite of discovery projects, Congruence Engine explores how linking the nation’s collections using digital tools can enable new kinds of research and practice. Like the project itself the issue […]
Congruence Engine in action
Helen Graham and Arran J Rees
Origins and ambitions of the Congruence Engine project
Tim Boon
The Congruence Engine Manifesto
Alex Butterworth
History of communications and the Congruence Engine: early thoughts and possibilities
Jon Agar
History of textiles and the Congruence Engine
William Ashworth
The future: reflections on emerging machine-learning methods for digital heritage
Asa Calow
Connecting places and collections
Ben Russell and Wayne Cocroft
Connecting with industrial heritage collections using video production methods
Paul Craddock
Energising connections in museum collections
Graeme Gooday, Kylea Little, Bernard Musesengwe and Cameron Tailford (Deceased)
Collaborative conversation as a method for exploring multiple perspectives on 'community' and forms of knowledge in the Congruence Engine
Simon Popple, Stefania Zardini Lacedelli, Arran J Rees, Stuart Prior and Maggie Smith
Textiles in a modern age
Tim Smith
The potential and pitfalls of machine learning in the Congruence Engine context
John Stack and Jamie Unwin
‘South Kensington is practically as far away as Paris or Munich’: the making of industrial collections in Edinburgh, Newcastle and Birmingham 
Kylea Little, Felicity McWilliams and Ellie Swinbank
Working at scale: what do computational methods mean for research using cases, models and collections?
Daniel C S Wilson
The role of digital humanities in an interdisciplinary research project
Jane Winters and Anna-Maria Sichani
Surfacing multiple perspectives on keywords for the Congruence Engine; embracing multiplicity, interdisciplinarity, and mutual learning
Stefania Zardini Lacedelli and Arran J Rees
Review: Living with Machines
Lauren Ryall-Waite
Obituary: Cameron James Tailford, 10 October 1991 – 3 August 2022
Tim Boon and Graeme Gooday

Spring 2022

Welcome to Issue 17 of the Science Museum Group Journal. Here James Mansell et al explore how audiences can engage with sound objects through listening; Sophie Vohra traces the complex meanings behind commemorative celebrations of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and Efram Sera-Shriar goes back to the original photographic material to re-examine Harry Price’s famous […]

Spring 2021

This Spring issue reflects the wealth of research which continues to be conducted and written about despite pandemic disruption. A collection of papers associated with the Science Museum’s ‘Science City 1550–1800: The Linbury Gallery’ features an article by Jane Desborough and Gloria Clifton on how the absence of women in the sources on early modern […]
Colour photograph of freeze dried genetically engineered mice

Spring 2020

A reminder of the richness of our cultural spaces and the research relating to them, including a conversation among curators and researchers exploring the politics behind the redisplay of the ‘Blue Whale’ at the Natural History Museum. Meanwhile, writing-prize winner Daniel Belteki traces the journey of an astronomical model from creation through various displays to its deaccession.
Festschrift: Ways of curating: introduction to a mini-festschrift in honour of Robert Bud
Tim Boon
Festschrift: At the Boundary between Science and Industrial Practices: Applied Science, Arts, and Technique in France
Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
Festschrift: of mice and myths: challenges and opportunities of capturing contemporary science in museums
Alison Boyle
Festschrift: experimenting with research: Kenneth Mees, Eastman Kodak and the challenges of diversification
Jeffrey Sturchio
Festschrift: how do we value artefacts in museum research?
Helmuth Trischler
Why the anonymous and everyday objects are important: using the Science Museum’s collections to re-write the history of vision aids
Gemma Almond
Projecting soldiers’ repair: the ‘Great War’ lantern and the Royal Society of Medicine
Jason Bate
A model instrument: the making and the unmaking of a model of the Airy Transit Circle
Daniel Belteki
Wounded – an exhibition out of time
Stewart Emmens
Curating Ocean Ecology at the Natural History Museum: Miranda Lowe and Richard Sabin in conversation with Pandora Syperek and Sarah Wade
Pandora Syperek, Sarah Wade, Miranda Lowe and Richard Sabin
A museum by the people for the people? A review of St Fagans National Museum of History’s new galleries
Miriam Dafydd
Review: Behind the Exhibit: Displaying Science and Technology at the World’s Fairs and Museums in the Twentieth Century
Helen Langwick
Book review: Higher and Colder: A History of Extreme Physiology and Exploration, The University of Chicago Press, 2019, by Vanessa Heggie
Nanna Kaalund
Book review: Physics and Psychics: The Occult and the Sciences in Modern Britain, by Richard Noakes
Efram Sera-Shriar
Sepia photograph of a cyclist with his high wheeler bicycle from the late nineteenth century

Autumn 2019

A look at how museum-academic partnerships can be improved, a mini-collection of papers on 'Technologies of Romance' and the role of enthusiast expert groups as ambassadors for stored collections.
Colour photograph of a sunrise over an oilfield in Texas North America

Spring 2018

Special Issue: The Material Culture of Energy

Issue 09 explores the world of energy, featuring research on lighting design in South America, a comparison of electrification in Canada and Japan and a study of the cultural meanings of the coal fire in post-war Britain.
Oil painting of an industrial waterside scene showing smoking pot stacks

Autumn 2017

The supersized eighth edition of the Journal includes a rare collection of papers on the theme of museums, a look at the cultural history of the wireless and a study of Dr Nelson’s Inhaler to explore the growth of inhalation therapy in the mid-19th century.
Justin Dillon
Museums theme – Adventures in Museology: category building over a century, and the context for experiments in reinvigorating the Science Museum at the turn of the twenty-first century
Robert Bud
Museums theme – Quest for Absolute Zero: A Human Story about Rivalry and Cold
Dirk van Delft
Museums theme – Science vs technology in a museum’s display: changes in the Vienna Museum of Technology with a focus on permanent and temporary exhibitions and new forms of science education
Peter Donhauser
Museums theme – making Split + Splice: Fragments from the Age of Biomedicine
Martha Fleming
Museums theme – Beyond the Black Box: reflections on building a history of chemistry museum
Jennifer Landry
Adapting to the emergence of the automobile: a case study of Manchester coachbuilder Joseph Cockshoot and Co. 1896–1939
Joshua Butt
A tale of two telegraphs: Cooke and Wheatstone’s differing visions of electric telegraphy
Jean-Francois Fava-Verde
Prosthetic limbs on display: from maker to user
Sophie Goggins, Tacye Phillipson and Samuel J M M Alberti
Towards a more sonically inclusive museum practice: a new definition of ’the ‘sound object
John Kannenberg
‘Great ease and simplicity of action’: Dr Nelson’s Inhaler and the origins of modern inhalation therapy
Barry Murnane, Darragh Murnane, Mark Sanders and Noel Snell
‘Not one voice speaking to many’: E C Large, wireless, and science fiction fans in the mid-twentieth century
Charlotte Sleigh
‘Organising Sound’: how a research network might help structure an exhibition
Tim Boon, Annie Jamieson, John Kannenberg, Aleks Kolkowski and James Mansell
A symposium on histories of use and tacit skills
Tim Boon, Roger Kneebone, Peter Heering, Klaus Staubermann and Yves Winkin
Review: what should reviews do in an online journal? Towards a New Format
Geoffrey Belknap
Review: More than colours (or why some Austrian school children might not want to eat red Gummy Bears anymore)
Toria Forsyth-Moser