International Conference & ICOFOM 47th Annual Assembly, 5-7 June 2024


The International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM), the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews, and the European Research Council (ERC) selected and UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) funded Shared Island Stories research project are pleased to welcome you to the hybrid (in-person and online) conference on the topic of Transnational Island Museologies, to be held from 5–7 June 2024. The conference will also host the 47th ICOFOM Annual Assembly on Friday, 7 June 2024.

Conference & 47th Annual Assembly Promotional Video


While islands are conventionally associated with romantic ideas of local distinctiveness and isolation, many small islands share the growing problems of coastal erosion through rising sea levels and storm intensification, as well as economic recession, depopulation and inappropriate tourism development. This conference takes its cue from the theme of the research project Shared Island Stories between Scotland and the Caribbean: Past, present, future to unearth hidden stories and entangled spaces in emerging transnational island museologies. Shared Island Stories is a five-year research project selected by the European Research Council (ERC) and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It is coordinated by the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews and aims to investigate relationships between the archipelagos of Scotland and the Caribbean. Drawing on history, heritage studies, sustainable development, art history and memory studies, the project asks: Which collections from the islands tell unfinished stories of Empire? What is the role of heritage communities in sustainable development? How can island community museums partner with NGOs, policy and local organisations and businesses for climate action? How can health and well-being be understood in relation to community heritage, traditional ecological knowledge and island life? What does this new knowledge bring to debates on climate justice, especially as they relate to the role of youth?

Venue & Host

The University of St Andrews is the top university in the UK, according to The Guardian University Guide 2024 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024. Founded in the 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English-speaking world. Teaching began in the community of St Andrews in 1410, and the University was formally constituted by the issue of a papal bull in 1413. St Andrews is a unique and captivating place, and the University is a key part of its charm. Seven centuries of history link the students with the town, leading to the ancient and yet modern institution apparent today. You can find out more about the University’s history and heritage here.

Keynote Speakers 

  • Hilda Flavia Nakabuye Founder, Fridays for Future Uganda 
  • Conal McCarthy, Professor of Museum and Heritage Studies, Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand 

Invited Speakers 

  • Fiona MacKenzie, Scottish Gaelic Singer, Isle of Canna, Scotland
  • Annalee Davis, Visual artist, cultural instigator, educator and writer, Barbados
  • Further invited speaker details will be confirmed shortly.

Opening Ceremony, Registration & Welcome

The opening ceremony will be held at Lower College Hall, situated in the historic United College Quadrangle. Professor Dame Sally Mapstone DBE FRSE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, will deliver the opening address accompanied by Professor Karen Brown, ICOFOM Chair (2022-2025) and Principal Investigator of the Shared Island Stories research project. Representatives from both the University and ICOFOM will follow, along with a traditional Gaelic song performed by singer Fiona MacKenzie. Delegates will be welcomed by postgraduate MLitt Museum and Heritage students, who will assist with registration and distribute delegate bags and badges.

Entrance to the Quadrangle © The University of St Andrews

International Conference Parallel Sessions, Round Tables & Workshops

The Parallel Sessions, Round Table and Workshops details will be confirmed in the programme. These will be held across various rooms at the United College in the historic University Quadrangle, all rooms will be fully accessible.

47th ICOFOM Annual Assembly

The International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM) will hold its 47th Annual Assembly on Friday, 7 June 2024, at 09:30 am in the Arts Building lecture theatre. This building is fully accessible.

Wardlaw Museum Evening Reception & Traditional Music

An evening reception will held at the Wardlaw Museum, offering delegates an opportunity to wander through its thematic galleries on the University’s groundbreaking research and global impact, showcasing its extraordinary art, history, science and natural history collections. The nationally significant collection is complemented by an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions and interactive experiences for all ages, with a captivating sea view from the terrace and garden, the Wardlaw Museum is a major cultural space for St Andrews. The reception will be opened by Dr Catherine Eagleton, Director of Libraries and Museums followed by Dr Nicôle Meehan, Co-Director of Museum and Heritage Studies and representatives from ICOFOM and student groups. A participatory traditional music activity will follow this reception – details to be confirmed.

Conference & 47th Annual Assembly Formal Dinner

An optional formal dinner will be held at the Lower College Hall, within St Salvator’s Quadrangle in the ancient heart of the University of St Andrews.  Delegates will enjoy a carefully selected 3-course dinner accompanied by wine or soft drinks, gourmet rolls and butter, the chef’s selection of seasonal vegetables and finally, a selection of Fairtrade tea and coffee with macaroons (vegetarian and gluten-free). Smart attire or traditional national dress is encouraged. Declared dietary requirements will be met. 

St Andrews Excursions

The St Andrews Excursions details will be confirmed in the programme. Delegates will have the opportunity to tour Scotland’s first university and the historic town of St Andrews.


The International Committee for Museology (ICOFOM) will offer a limited number of Young Scholar Grants of €750 Euros to individuals who meet the following criteria: Are a current member of ICOFOM; plan to attend the conference to present a paper in-person; under the age of 40 (on the date of the conference); and those who agree to submit a short impact statement. Priority for ICOM Class II and III countries. Applications for the Young Scholar Grants have now closed.


For Day 1 & Day 2, hot and cold refreshments (Fairtrade tea and coffee, fruit juice, and mineral water) will be available accompanied by a buffet lunch at Lower College Hall. Declared dietary requirements will be met. 

For Day 3, hot and cold refreshments (Fairtrade tea and coffee, fruit juice, and mineral water) and a light lunch will be served at the 47th ICOFOM Annual Assembly for ICOFOM Members.

The University of St Andrews offers a world-class food and beverage experience for all delegates. The University is committed to being “net zero by 2035”.  A priority is to support the land and the local economy by reducing food waste and food miles, while using compostable packaging whenever possible and fresh, local, Scottish products. Through food, we make choices about climate, social justice, equality and much more. The University works with Fairtrade to buy better food while educating and prompting the market to make a change.

WIFI Access

Delegates will be able to access a wireless internet connection by connecting to BT Openzone.

  • On your device, connect to the wireless network BTWiFi
  • Open a browser and go to
  • You’ll be redirected to a University of St Andrews page, where you can connect for free

Alternatively, eduroam is also available for delegates who have an account from their home institution. You can find out by contacting the IT Service Desk.

Language & Translation

The main language of the conference will be English. However, the organising committee aim to provide limited translation (French and Spanish) where possible and subject to availability, but it is not guaranteed. Digital automated translation (for over 28 languages) will also be available via Microsoft Teams for live streaming. You can find out more about Microsoft Teams here.

Getting to St Andrews

Delegates have a number of options when it comes to travelling to the town. Located on the east coast of Scotland within the Kingdom of Fife, St Andrews can be easily reached from a number of nearby cities via public transport, road and private transfers. International delegates have a choice of airports to fly into, all of which have good links with the town. As a certified Cycle Friendly Campus, an e-car hub and a car share provider, the University of St Andrews is committed to promoting sustainable modes of transport at every stage of your journey. You can find out about travel options here.

Accommodation in St Andrews

Delegates have a large range of accommodation options to choose from the luxury of a five-star suite with views over the golf courses, to a boutique bed and breakfast just a few steps from the beach. For those looking for a private base, St Andrews also offers a number of holiday lets which can be rented for any length of time, from a few days through to an entire summer.

The conference organisers have partnered with the University of St Andrews to offer discounted accommodation for conference delegates. Accommodation is available at Agnes Blackadder Hall at our Conference Bed and Breakfast rate of £69 per night, from Tuesday, 4th June, departing on Friday, 7th June.

Agnes Blackadder Hall offers three-star campus accommodation, just a 15-minute walk from the conference venue at the United College Quadrangle. It includes a full Scottish breakfast as well as a continental breakfast selection. All bedrooms feature an ensuite shower room, toiletries, a double bed, WiFi, and a television, along with tea and coffee-making facilities.

Limited pre and post-conference accommodation is also available on Monday, 3rd June, and Friday, 7th June, at £82.80 per night.

The Visit Scotland website has a comprehensive list of hotels and bed and breakfast options in St Andrews.

St Andrews Excursions

Delegates can register for their St Andrews Excursions when they collect their conference bag and badge at Lower College Hall or via this link. Additional excursions across Scotland’s Highlands and Islands can be booked via the Conference Tour partner, Timberbush Tours. Visit and use code “SAN10OFF” to get 10% off tours booked for June 2024.


This conference is part of a research project that was selected by the European Research Council (ERC) and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) with project reference: EP/X023036/1. It is coordinated by the School of Art History at the University of St Andrews in collaboration with the International Council of Museums (ICOM)’s International Committee of Museology (ICOFOM). 

If you have any questions or require further information regarding the conference programme, please contact the organising committee via [email protected]. If you have any questions or require further information regarding your conference registration or accommodation reservations, please contact the support team via [email protected].