Museum and Collections
Hidden for many years from public view, and accumulating for over a century – our collections create a unique and diverse resource for students and the wider community.
Funding has been obtained as part of the HLF funded Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery project in partnership with Bangor University to improve access to these collections.
The Art Collection consists of approximately 600 works dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries.
Welsh artists are well represented, including:
- Brenda Chamberlain
- David Jones
- Edward Povey
- Peter Prendergast
- Gwilym Pritchard
- Ceri Richards
- Will Roberts
- Evan Walters
- Catrin Webster
- Claudia Williams
- Christopher Williams
- Kyffin Williams
The collection is not only limited to Welsh Art, and includes valuable paintings by British artists such as:
- Edward Wadsworth
- Paul Nash
- Winifred Nicholson
- Sandra Blow
and European artists such as Guido Rossi.
Most of the artwork is hung throughout the University, particularly in the Main Arts Building, making it a more aesthetically pleasing, interesting and stimulating environment.
The general public can visit the Main Arts Building during the time that the University is open.
The oil and acrylic paintings in the Art Collection have been added to the Public Catalogue Foundation and are available on http://artuk.org/discover/artworks/
This collection consists of approximately 500 pieces of porcelain and china. When viewed together, it creates a condensed historical survey of the development of domestic china.
There are good examples of early British and European tin-glazed earthenware, early Meissen porcelain and examples of 18th and 19th century china and porcelain from Swansea, Bow, Chelsea, Derby, Lowestoft, Worcester, Caughley, Coalport, Plymouth and other Staffordshire factories. The collection includes Chinese and Japanese porcelain dating from the 16th to 19th century, as well as English and European glasses from the 18th and 19th century.
Most of the collection is on display in the Council Chamber Corridor in the Main Arts Building.
It is available to be seen without making special arrangements during the opening hours of the University.
Ethnographic Musical Instruments
The Ethnographic Musical Instrument collection consists of approximately 600 instruments. There are 325 pre-Columbian clay instruments and figures showing musicians from west Mexico. The collection was formed by Peter Crossley-Holland (1916-2001), a musicologist and composer who was also a pioneer in the study of ethnomusicology. It is among the world’s 10 top collections of ancient pre-Columbian musical objects and is one of the University’s most valuable cultural assets.
The instruments come from all over the world, including Europe, Africa, Mexico, North America, India and Tibet. There are double hornpipes, shell scrapers, goat bells and membrane whistles from Spain; a bird whistle and clappers from Germany; a Iroquois bark rattle from north America; a sliding rattle and a snake-charmer’s pipe from India and a hand bell from Cambodia.
The collection is currently being researched by the School of Music and is not at present accessible to members of the public, although it may be possible to arrange access for other academic researchers.
Zoology collection and Natural History Museum
The Zoology Collection consists of approximately 40,000 pieces, approximately 500 of which are on display in the Natural History Museum, Brambell Building. The Zoology Collection began as a teaching resource and is still used as such today. This fascinating collection is an inspiration to the University and to the wider community.
The collection includes full skeletons, skulls, taxidermy, antlers, eggs and specimens preserved in spirit jars. Highlights include the Irish elk antlers, which are approximately 7500 year old, the skeleton of a Tasmanian devil, a two headed lamb, a collection of New Zealand birds and a Galapagos tortoise. Some of the species on display are now endangered, such as the kakapo from New Zealand.
The Natural History Museum is not open to members of the public on a regular basis but occasional open days are organised to provide access. Groups and schools are able to book visits on request, and it is accessible on University Open Days.
Bangor University has a Natural History collection housed at Brambell Building. The University holds a number of Open Days throughout the year, giving the public access to the animals and plants on display.
The Geology Collection consists of approximately 8000 rocks and minerals and 3000 fossils from all over the world.
It includes notable samples from north Wales, such as unique reference finds by Dr Edward Greenly, the first geologist to describe and map the geology of Anglesey in the early 20th century.
The names used to describe the international geological timescale (for example, Cambrian, Silurian and Ordovician) were first used by geologists working in north Wales in the late 19th and early 20th century and the Geology Collection contains many samples extracted during this time.
A selection of the collection is displayed in the corridor of the Natural History Museum, Brambell Building. The fossil collection is also housed here. The remainder of the collection is housed in the Thoday building at present.
The Natural History Museum is not open to members of the public on a regular basis, but occasional open days are organised to provide access.
The herbarium contains over 30,000 dried and pressed plant specimens, along with algae, spirit and carpological collections. The collection contains specimens from all over the world, is considered to be one of the top 15 in the UK and is especially important in Wales.
A significant proportion of the collection dates to the 1800s and the earliest specimen dates to 1799. Collectors of note include William and Joseph Hooker (Kew), George Forrest (Edinburgh), the Welsh botanists Evan Roberts and Lloyd Williams as well as notable botanists from Bangor University itself, including Professors Reginald W. Phillips, David Thoday and Paul Richards. Most of the world’s major vegetation zones are represented, with an emphasis on British native species and an excellent representation of the flora of North Wales. Highlights include the Ynys Enlli/Bardsey Island collection and scarce local plants such as the Snowdon Lily (Gagea serotina) and the Anglesey endemic Spathulate Fleawort (Tephroseris integrifolia ssp. maritima).
The herbarium is located next to the Natural History Museum in Brambell Building. The Natural History Museum is not open to members of the public on a regular basis, but occasional open days are organised to provide access.
The ongoing Herbarium Digitization Project, funded by the Bangor Fund, will eventually produce an online bilingual catalogue of high-quality digital images of each specimen.
Timber and Damaged Wood Collections
The Timber Collection consists of approximately 5400 samples of wood and the Damaged Wood Collection consists of around 500 samples. These collections started as teaching aids and both are amongst the best collections in the UK.
There are 2250 species from 864 different genera from all parts of the world in the Timber Collection, with timbers from tropical Africa, parts of South America and southern regions of Asia particularly well represented. The Damaged Wood Collection relates to insect, mollusc, and damage from other animals that occurs naturally in trees or in processed timber.
The timber collection is kept in glass-fronted cupboards on the landing of the 2nd floor of the Thoday Building. The Damaged Wood Collection is being reassembled at present; part of it will be on display in one of the lecture rooms in the Thoday Building, the remainder being archived in storage boxes.
Storiel is the new name given to the Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery, Bangor. There is easy access to the collections of Storiel and Bangor University.
For more information please contact:
Bangor Collections Officer