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Current projects

Ancient Egyptian Coffins

This project takes an integrated look at both the iconography and structure of Ancient Egyptian coffins, drawing together curatorial, conservation and scientific research, and experimental archaeology. This approach will result in a more complete history of each object. 

Being an Islander: Art and Identity of the large Mediterranean Islands

Culminating in an ambitious exhibition to be held in 2023, this project will elucidate what defines island identity in the Mediterreanean and explore how insularity affects and shapes cultural identity, using the examples of Cyprus, Crete and Sardinia. 

Cambridge Illuminations Research Project

Researching the nearly 4000 illuminated manuscripts and incunabula preserved at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges, this project is internationally recognised for unearthing new evidence about manuscript production, patronage and use.


Supported by grants from the Charlotte Bonham-Carter Charitable Trust and the Marlay Group, the CONSERV’D project plans to transform documentation procedures and practices within the Conservation Department at the Fitzwilliam Museum. This will significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of our work and, ultimately, the accessibility of the collections for scholars, students and the public.

Early Medieval Corpus Single Finds of Coins in the British Isles, 410-1180

A project to gather together into a single database all of the single finds of coins minted 410-1180 found in the British Isles.

Young people in the Museum

Embedding and demonstrating the value of technology-enhanced cultural impact measurement for arts and culture organisations

The University of Cambridge Museums are collaborating on an AHRC grant led by Warwick University and the National Gallery. Educators on the Children and Young People's Programmes will test and implement robust methods for audience research and evaluation through the innovative use of automated systems under the guidance of a team of social scientists and technologists.


INSPIRE2020 (December 2019- March 2020) was the first exhibition of work made by primary school children in the Octagon Gallery at The Fitzwilliam Museum and was designed in partnership with AccessArt. The exhibition celebrates the amazing creativity of local schools and teachers at a time of growing concerns that the arts are being squeezed out of the curriculum. 

Learning Research

The Learning Department engages in research to build our understanding of the value of museum collections and programmes to learners and audiences, and to investigate and develop our practice as educators. 

Metal-detector survey at Rendlesham.

Lordship and Landscape in East Anglia AD 400−800

Unique in early England for its wealth and complexity, and best paralleled by central places in contemporary Scandinavia, Rendlesham in Suffolk has major implications for our understanding of the character and origins of the early Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, and for processes of state-formation around the North Sea.

Material Cultures in Public Engagement

This project seeks to contribute to the advancement of public archaeology as a theoretical discipline as well as a practice within Museums, and to further define the relationship between archaeology and the public.

Medieval European Coinage

Medieval European Coinage is a major international work of reference for medieval numismatists, archaeologists and historians. The series of some 20 volumes, published by Cambridge University Press, will cover the coinage of Europe c. 450 to c. 1500, region by region. 

MINIARE: Manuscript Illumination: Non-Invasive Analysis, Research and Expertise

This project is transforming our understanding of medieval painting by using non-invasive analytical methods to identify the materials and techniques in illuminated manuscripts. 

Please Do Not Touch: Risk Mitigation and the efficacy of touching deterrents

This research project is looking at the effectiveness of different touching deterrent methods used for the collections on open display at The Fitzwilliam Museum

Polychromy Revealed

We are planning a large-scale research project which will enable us to investigate, interpret, conserve and display the Museum's exceptional collection of medieval wood sculptures, largely polychrome, made across Western Europe c.1300-1550.

Nursery in residence

Practitioner Led Research with Young Children

This pracitioner led research project focuses on young children in museums. 

Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles

The British Sylloge project was first promoted in the early 1950s by Christopher Blunt and other members of the British and Royal Numismatic Societies. An informal committee was formed under the chairmanship of Sir Frank Stenton, who in 1956 secured its admission as a Committee of the British Academy. The first volume, on Anglo-Saxon coins in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, was published by the British Academy in 1958; almost 70 further volumes have since been published, covering more than two hundred national, university and provincial museums, as well as select private collections, in Britain and Ireland and of museums in Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and the United States of America.

To be Treasured for a Thousand Years: Chinese Bronzes at the Fitzwilliam Museum

This project is cataloguing and researching the Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection of Chinese bronzes, examining how the objects were cast and used, as well as their cultural influences.

Unlocking the English Portrait Miniature: The Materiality of Isaac Oliver's Oeuvre

The portrait miniature is a rare art form that was brought to perfection in Elizabethan and Jacobean England by Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619) and Isaac Oliver (c.1565-1617). The surviving miniatures, of which the Fitzwilliam holds a collection of national importance, together with a small number of contemporary treatises produced by practitioners of the art, allow a unique insight into a formative period in the development of the country’s visual and political culture.


Projects by Department