Subject Specialist Network for Islamic Art & Material Culture support 2017-18

The specialist support scheme aims to provide regional museums with a toolkit to help them unlock the potential of their collections of Islamic Art & Material Culture (IAMC) and use them to engage with new and diverse audiences. It will provide a bespoke package of flexible, specialist and practical support through a scalable programme that can be tailored to the needs of individual institutions. At least one tangible output, such as a new display, knowledge sharing or outreach event should result from that specialist support.  Funding is provided through an ACE Resilience Fund Grant awarded to the SSN for Islamic Art & Material Culture (see: There is up to £5,075 available for support for each museum.

What collections areas are relevant?
The remit of the SSN is defined broadly and currently incorporates:

  • Historic collections of IAMC from regions where Islam is, or was, the dominant religion (e.g. Middle East, North Africa, Iran, Mughal India)
  • Contemporary art from the Middle East
  • Art and artefacts from other regions inspired by or with an association to the Middle East and dating from the 19th century to the present day

Eligibility in 2017-18
Applications this year are open to Accredited museums and those working towards Accreditation across England, but priority will be given to those in regions not already targeted by the scheme, namely those in the East of England and the East Midlands. Applications can be led by collections, curatorial and/or engagement and outreach staff.

How will the scheme operate?
The scheme is split into sections that should follow each other:

1) Visits by specialists to your institution for a minimum of one day, or a maximum of five days based on your requirements. Where necessary a freelance photographer can be provided to create digital images of up to 30 objects. Support and advice from an object conservator is also available. A report resulting from those visits will be produced by specialists and given to each institution. It is a key requirement that these visits actively involve members of staff, enabling them to become confident stewards of their IAMC collections.

2) Outputs should result from the knowledge and understanding of your collections developed from the specialist visits. Those outputs must be designed and selected by the participating institution but should focus on increasing public engagement with your IAMC collection and, where possible, on sharing your new found expertise with other intuitions in your region.. This second phase must be completed by end of March 2018.

Selection for the scheme is based on a written application. If your application is unsuccessful, you are still invited to access other support offered by the SSN in the form of study days and bursary scheme for museum professionals.

Application process
Applications deadline is 5pm on Monday 7th August 2017. Please apply by completing the on-line form available here:

For full information see If you have any queries please contact the SSN via with ‘Specialist Support Scheme’ clearly stated in the subject line.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s