Emotions3D: Accessing a history of emotions through digital museum artefacts

In 2016, the Stirling Smith is part of an exciting project to create digital reproductions of some of the objects in our collection. Using the technique of photogrammetry, artefacts from the museum will be rendered into a three-dimensional digital format. These models may be viewed online or on a mobile device, 3D printed, or accessed in virtual reality using the Google Cardboard viewer.

This project continues our international partnership with the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, and is coordinated by Dr Jane-Heloise Nancarrow, based at the University of Western Australia. Other UK heritage partners include the Victoria and Albert Museum, Keats’ House, and St Bartholomew’s Hospital Museum and Archive.

Emotions3D encourages members of the public to engage with museum artefacts through visual and sensory manipulation of digital 3D content. The project also explores the role which emotions play within historical contexts and modern curatorial practice.

The Stirling Smith 3D collection will feature the world’s oldest football; a hat belonging to the famed Edinburgh serial killer, William Burke; a Jacobite wedding dress and executioner’s cloak; a WWI bayonet blade; and a sixteenth-century child’s toy incorporating a teething tool, bells and a whistle. These digital resources will be annotated to link museum objects in ways which tell innovative, unique stories.

You can follow the project using #emotions3D. The models will be available on Sketchfab later in 2016

Jane Heloise, University of Western Australia


The ring of Rev James Guthrie 1620-1665 martyr

PAST Projects

Pacific collections in Scottish Museums

Eve Haddow, Project Curator, National Museums Scotland

This partnership project, supported by the Museums Association & Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, ran from April 2013 to December 2014.

The project had two key aims:

  • To carry out a review of Pacific material held by each of the partner institutions, drawing out stories both within and between each collection
  • To develop and implement a new methodology for collections knowledge transfer between a new curator, current collections staff and subject expert.

Eve Haddow, Curator, National Museums Scotland





Emotions on the cards, Stories of Emotions and Scottish Objects, a research partnership between the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence for the History of Emotions and the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

Professor Susan Broomhall, Foundation Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

The project looked at the emotional content of museums objects and how that content could be experienced by an audience.  Museum objects contain a range of different emotions depending on the history of the object and the experience of the viewer.  This could range from excitement to disgust, wonder, distress or no connection at all.  Every viewer reacts differently with every ‘object’




Old Mortality, oil sketch by Sir George Harvey
Plaster cast of Old Mortality, Andrew Currie
Moyr Smith Tiles

Loaned to Abbotsford House
October – December 2016
2016 bicentenary exhibition for Scott’s novel Old Mortality


19th century, Mauchline and other Souvenirware. publications and posters relating to the National Wallace Monument

Loaned to The National Wallace Monument

May - June 2016


Dunglaston – James Patterson
William Kennedy, Harvest Moon
William Kennedy, Waiting to Mount Guard
William York McGregor, Crail
Loaned to Drents Museum, Assen, Netherlands
20 September 2015 – 7 February 2016
Exhibition: The Glasgow Boys - Schots impressionisme 1880-1900

William Gear, Interior
Loaned to Towner, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex
17 July – 27 September 2015

City Art Centre Edinburgh
24 October 2015 – 14 February 2016

For their joint exhibition: William Gear: Nature is Abstract