The Abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots by Gavin Hamilton (1723-1798) held in The Hunterian’s Collection.

Welcome to the project website for ‘In my end is my beginning’, a two-year research network mapping the presence of Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587) in Scottish heritage collections. The network has two key aims:

  • To put together an outline census of the extensive range of objects, images and cultural artefacts relating to Mary in Scottish heritage collections, and
  • From this collection, to understand why Mary has had such an important and enduring presence in Scottish collective memory and popular culture.

The project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and led by Dr Steven Reid and Ms Anne Dulau-Beveridge at the University of Glasgow. Over the course of seven workshops between 2019 and 2021, the network will bring together over 40 team members to discuss Mary and her cultural afterlife, comprising academics who specialise in Mary and curators from all Scottish museums, archives, libraries and private collections that have Marian objects. Its final outputs will include a small temporary exhibition at the University of Glasgow in 2021, showcasing a handful of the key objects that the project has found, followed by a larger exhibition at the Hunterian Art Gallery on Mary in the University Collections in 2022. It will also produce a collection of essays looking at Mary’s cultural memorialisation over the past four and a half centuries.

You can find further detail on the project, its background and its aims here, alongside a brief sketch of Mary’s personal history. In Search of Mary Queen of Scots, our project blog and vlog, showcases research in progress by the project team and a small range of the key items from the collections linked to the project. You can also explore some further reading on Mary and her cultural afterlife here. For further information on the project, please contact Dr Steven Reid.