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Working Group

Chair: Jeremy Upton

Jeremy Upton is the Director of Library and University Collections at the University of Edinburgh, a post he took up in 2015.  His remit covers library and museum collections including the world renowned musical instrument collection held at St Cecilia’s Hall. Jeremy started his professional library career as a music librarian before moving in to general University Library Management. Prior to working in Edinburgh, he was Deputy Director of the library at the University of St Andrews.


Vice-Chair: Giuliana Tomasella

Giuliana Tomasella is full professor at the University of Padua (Italy); she teaches Museology and History of Collecting; History of Art Criticism. She is currently the Director of the University Museums Centre. She is member of the scientific committee of the Museo d’Arte Orientale di Ca’ Pesaro of Venice and is part of  the scientific committee of the forthcoming Museo della Natura e dell’Uomo (Museum of the Nature and Man) of the University of Padua. Her studies have focused on the relationships between art and politics during the Fascist period. Recently, her research is focalising on the problem of the image of the Black in European art, during the colonial period.

Focus of Working Group

The Working Group brings together researchers and practitioners working the area of cultural heritage across the Coimbra Group institutions to:

  • Understand better the unique role of heritage and the contribution it can make to the work and culture of Universities and the wider community. With their long history, many universities museums and collections had and have a very close alignment with the evolution of their towns and wider regions.
  • Identify where the membership of the Coimbra Group institutions can make a distinctive contribution to the wider discussion of heritage related issues.
  • Provide a network for individuals active in the area of cultural heritage at the Coimbra Group universities to develop their ideas and work on joint projects

Recent highlights

  • Virtual Exhibition (https://collections.ed.ac.uk/coimbra). This online exhibition was created by the University of Edinburgh for the 2017 annual conference. The site provides information on a selection of items from the Coimbra Group Institutions and showcases the rich variety of materials held in collections across the Coimbra Group. The infrastructure is going to be used to help identify opportunities for further joint working with details of more collections to be added to the site by June 2019.


  • Conference: Conserving the built heritage in Universities, Graz October 2018. The conference brought together academics and practitioners from Coimbra, Bergen, Graz and Uppsala to present on their experience of conserving heritage spaces in their Universities. We intend to publish the papers from the Conference during 2019.

Current/forthcoming activities

  • Heritage Buildings. The Group is planning a further seminar with a focus on heritage buildings for autumn 2019 in Coimbra. Heritage buildings pose a variety of challenges for the Coimbra Group universities from conservation to how to ensure the spaces can continue to support teaching and research in rapidly changing academic institutions.


  • Scientific Instruments. The Heritage Working Group is collaborating with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Working Group:
    • to explore the possibilities of using our collections of historic scientific instruments to support innovative learning.
    • to increase the visibility of cultural heritage of the Coimbra Group universities with the help of Digital technologies.



Contact person at the CG Office: Anna Quici (quici@coimbra-group.eu)