The Museum Collections of the University of St Andrews relate to the University of St Andrews, its history, personalities and teaching and research fields. The collections have been forming since shortly after the University was founded, as the first university in Scotland, between 1410 and 1414. Today, the Collections contain approximately 112,300 objects, encompassing the fields of fine and applied art, silver, furniture, numismatics and archaeology (the 'Heritage Collections'); ethnographic and Amerindian material; anatomy and pathology; chemistry; psychology; historic scientific instruments; geology; and, in the Bell Pettigrew Museum, zoology. The Museum Collections are strongly supported by archival and documentary evidence, held by the Special Collections Department (muniments, rare books, photographs, manuscripts and archives) of the University Library.
In the National Audit of Scotland's museums (2002), the Museum Collections were identified as 13th largest in the country in terms of holdings of items of international, UK and national significance.
The Chemistry Collection, Heritage Collections and Collection of Historic Scientific Instruments are Recognised Collections of National Significance. They have been formally acknowledged as of great importance to the life and culture of Scotland, through the Recognition scheme established by the Scottish Government and administered by Museums Galleries Scotland.
Additions to the Museum Collections are made in accordance with our formal Acquisitions and Disposal Policy.