Disability and access guidelines for University of Dundee Museums

Updated on 7 February 2022

Guidelines for accessing our collections and services

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This short document sets out simple guidelines for accessing our collections and services and gives information about the steps we are taking to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act in trying to provide equal access for everybody.

The University does not at present have a permanent museum building in which to display its collections to the public. However, our collections do have Registered Museum status which means we are obliged to provide access to them, not just for staff and students at the University but for anyone who wishes to see them.

We currently make use of various temporary exhibition areas around the University, and some parts of the collections (e.g. Zoology) are on permanent display. Only a small fraction of the collections can be shown in these spaces at any one time, so the majority is kept in storerooms around the campus. Not all of these are readily accessible by the public, but where there are access problems, we will be happy to take objects out to be viewed elsewhere.

Exhibition and Display Areas

All our exhibitions and displays are designed to make parts of the collection more accessible to everyone. Objects are usually accompanied by interpretative labels, which are always produced using large print sizes and clear fonts. Sometimes a separate catalogue or leaflet is also available, and large print versions of this can be made available on request (though not always in the same format).

We try to display all our material at a suitable height, but due to our limited resources we often have to make do with display cases borrowed from other sources, and the material inside some cases may not be easy for people in wheelchairs to see properly. If the Curator is around he will be happy to remove objects from cases to let the public see or (where appropriate) touch them. The Curator will also be glad to show visitors around any of the exhibitions and can explain or interpret any parts that visitors may have difficulty accessing properly. We are also looking into the possibility of having audio guides made for some of our larger exhibitions.

Our main exhibition and display areas are as follows:

  • Tower Building: Tower Foyer and Lamb Gallery
  • Ninewells Hospital: Tayside Medical History Museum, Medical School Foyer
  • Carnelley Building: D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum

All of these are wheelchair-accessible and can be reached without climbing any stairs. The D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum in the Carnelley Building is normally accessed by the front entrance of the building which does have steps, but calling in advance will ensure that alternative entry routes can be used.

Departmental Collections & Storerooms

Many parts of the collections are kept by different departments around the campus. Some of these are displayed in the foyers of various buildings (e.g. Harris and Fulton) or spread around different locations in buildings (e.g. the artworks and displays around the Dental School buildings). All of these buildings have wheelchair access but it is not always through the main front door. If there are any parts of the campus that you are uncertain how to access, contact Disability Services on 01382 385402 or e-mail They are located in the Old Technical Institute on the main campus. Detailed information on accessibility in all the University's buildings can be found via their website.

Most of the collections either stored or displayed outwith the main areas listed above are only accessible by appointment by the Curator. Where access is a problem, the Curator can remove material to a more suitable location for viewing.

Our main storerooms are currently located at 5-7 Hawkhill Place, an 18th-century building not designed for wheelchair access. A ramp has been created to allow access to the ground floor but it is not very wheelchair-friendly. If you wish to make an appointment to view items in the stores, please let the Curator know your access requirements in advance.

Other Services

We sometimes organise special events, such as lectures or guided tours. Some of these may pose access problems as once again we do not have control over the spaces we are able to use. In particular, the Historical Campus Tour runs regularly by the Curator covers a route that is not always wheelchair-accessible. A different version of the route can be arranged in advance if required.

Many of the collections can also be viewed online on the Museum Services' website. The site also gives information about current exhibitions and events. We try to ensure that all additions to this site meet disability guidelines, and are working on upgrading the older pages to meet these as well.


Matthew Jarron

Curator of Museum Services

+44 (0)1382 384310
Corporate information category Museums