The Islamic Art and Material Culture SSN UK


UK Collections

The first major undertaking of IAMCSSN was to launch a nationwide Mapping Project in order to determing the locations, compositions, and management of collections of Islamic art and material culture, both large and small. The survey allowed to assess the current situation of such collections around the country and to better understand what resources to develop and how to target them in the future.

The Mapping Project began in October 2013 and was led by Jenny Wright, whose detailed findings and analysis can be accessed here. The individual collections and regional distribution can be further explored by clicking on the map below or by conducting a search by institution, medium or area of production through our data page.

Only 110 responses were submitted, about 52% of the approximately 200 museum professionals who were contacted and asked to complete the questionnaire. In addition to exposing the range of needs that informs the 2015-2018 activities of IAMCSSN, the survey highlighted a number of relevant issues, including:

- about 82% of the museum staff in charge of Islamic collections at the contacted museums are not specialists;

- over 70% of the respondents indicated that less than 20% of their Islamic holdings were on display;

- less than 40% the surveyed collections confirmed that only 20% of their objects are currently available online. 

Therefore a future objective of the IAMCSSN will be to continue with the national survey of Islamic collections by soliciting institutions and individuals that have already been contacted but failed to reply, and by involving other museums who may possess relevant holdings. The website’s database, accessible to registered members, has been designed to edit and expand existing records as well as to create entirely new submissions, thus giving the opportunity to constantly refine our knowledge of Islamic art and material culture collections within the UK.

The data collected in the first survey conducted by IAMCSSN can also be explored in a searchable database, for use by both members of the public, researchers, and members of the SSN, by clicking the following link:

Please note that, whilst this database is still in development, access is restricted to registered users only. To gain access, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..