The Glasgow Museums Resource Centre.
© John Yellowlees 2015
Comprising the largest accessible store in Europe, the Glasgow Museums Reserve Collection at Nitshill has only two showcases. The other 1 million or so objects are on shelves or in electrically-powered storage, representing the 98% of the total collection that for reasons of space can't be seen at the main displays such as Kelvingrove, Riverside and The Burrell.
It's a vast building with rooms full of fantastic objects, from animals to armour, fine art to fossils, and much, much more. The main collections stored there are Archaeology, Art and Painting, Arms and Armour, Natural History, Transport and Technology and World Cultures in 17 purpose-built and environmentally controlled storage "pods".
Glasgow loans objects all over the world. The Reserve Collection has to be open to the public in order to qualify for grants, and visits are offered as tasters in order that visitors may come back with requests for particular items to be looked out - it is only right that Glaswegians should enjoy this facility since the items belong to them. Viewing items at Nitshill enables visitors to get up close - for example ship models that at Riverside have to be encased for their security can be seen at Nitshill without glass getting in the way.
Glasgow's art collection reflects the city's status as the Second City of Empire, and many of its paintings could not be afforded today. Paintings with transport themes at Nitshill include one of the launching of the Lusitania and a copy of Cuneo's Blue Train.
The Mackintosh tearoom and Scottish archaeology collection are going to Kelvingrove, but others remaining at Nitshill include world cultures, ceramics, arms, machinery, domestic technology, natural history, art and entomology. The only restriction on viewing concerns items liable to fade in normal light.
The Scottish Region thanks Brian Weightman for making us welcome and for inviting us to email requests to see particular items.
Report by John Yellowlees.
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