Museums, galleries and libraries

Museums, galleries and collections fund

Our research funding supports infrastructure on which research and scholarship depend. This includes support for university museums, galleries and collections.

We currently provide over £10 million per year to 33 higher education museums galleries and collections (HEMGs) across 19 higher education institutions.

Our funding helps museums galleries and collections to serve the wider research community, where this costs them significantly more than meeting the needs of their own researchers and students. 

Who will receive this funding from 2017-18?

Higher education institution

Museum, gallery or collection

Arts University Bournemouth

Museum of Design in Plastics

Durham University

Oriental Museum

London School of Economics

The Women's Library

Royal Academy of Music

Royal Academy of Music Museum

The Courtauld Institute of Art

The Courtauld Gallery

The Courtauld Institute of Art

Libraries of the Courtauld Institute of Art

University College London

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

University College London

UCL Art Museum

University College London

Grant Museum

University of Birmingham

Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham

Lapworth Museum of Geology

University of Brighton

University of Brighton Design Archives

University of Bristol

Theatre Collection

University of Cambridge

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

University of Cambridge

The Fitzwilliam Museum

University of Cambridge

Kettle's Yard

University of Cambridge

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

University of Cambridge

Museum of Zoology

University of Cambridge

The Polar Museum, Scott Polar Research Institute

University of Cambridge

Whipple Museum of the History of Science

University of East Anglia

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

University of Leeds

Leeds University Art Collection at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery

University of Manchester

Manchester Museum

University of Manchester

Whitworth Art Gallery

University of Newcastle

Great North Museum: Hancock and the Hatton Gallery

University of Oxford

Pitt Rivers Museum

University of Oxford

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

University of Oxford

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

University of Oxford

Museum of the History of Science

University of Reading

Museum of English Rural Life

University of the Arts London

University Archives and Special Collections Centre

University of the Creative Arts

Crafts Study Centre

University of York

Borthwick Institute for Archives

2016 review

In 2016 the former HEFCE completed a review of its funding in this area, led by Diane Lees CBE, Director-General of the Imperial War Museums.

Higher education museums, galleries and collections were invited to apply for funding.

An independent panel of experts considered how far the submissions demonstrated activity which met the HEFCE policy aims. It made funding recommendations on this basis.

The review highlighted the unique and significant contributions museums, galleries and collections make to research, scholarship and research impact in the UK and internationally.  

Research England HEMG funding is driven by the results of this review.

Our support so far

The former HEFCE had for a long time had a stake in funding for museums, galleries and collections.

The University Museums Group conducted research which found that in 2014-15 funding from the former HEFCE helped museums, galleries and collections in England to leverage a total of £42.5 million of funding from external sources.

Former HEFCE funding also helped them to engage with 4.5 million visitors, 37,000 university students and 207,000 school students. 


We support the information infrastructure on which researchers depend, making it easier for researchers to access the resources they need. This includes our funding for National Research Libraries and the UK Research Reserve, and our work to support open access research.

UK Research Reserve

The UK Research Reserve (UKRR) was established in 2007 to explore whether, through collaborative documentation, preservation and de-duplication of low use print journals, it would be possible to generate space savings across the UK's HE libraries.

Alongside the British Library (BL) we have funded UKRR in three phases, managed by Imperial College London. The first of these ran until January 2009 and released 11,000 metres of shelving from eight Higher Education libraries. From February 2009, we committed £9.84 million to phase two of UKRR, which released a further 70,000 metres of shelf space, saving the sector millions of pounds in capital and recurrent funds.

From 2017 - 2019, we committed a further £1.1 million to support a third phase of UKRR, seeking to transition the reserve to a self-sustaining model. As a result of this, the UKRR service is now delivered by the BL. Alongside this, the UKRR team worked with Jisc, Research Libraries UK, SCONUL and the BL to undertake a feasibility study into a similar model of strategic management of library book collections.

The funding for this project has now ended. The UKRR Final report can be found here.

UKRR in figures

  • Released 98,000m of shelf-space in 36 libraries
  • £4 saved for every £1 of funding allocated
  • Capital savings of £29.6m
  • Recurrent savings of £17.1m
  • Enhanced data in the BL's catalogue for 300,000 individual journal issues
  • Space released in libraries re-purposed for a variety of student study and collaboration facilities


For information about National Research Libraries funding please see How we fund research.