The Year of Stories 2022

In 2022 we celebrate Visit Scotland’s Year of Stories, and the Wardlaw Museum has plenty of stories to tell through our vast collection and busy activities programme of exhibitions and events which can be accessed both in person and/or online.

Why is storytelling important?

At their root, stories help us form an emotional connection and make us care about our surroundings. The emotional connection formed by storytelling is so astounding that it can prompt our bodies to release Oxytocin, the ‘feel-good chemical’ and inspire people to make a difference in the world.

Storytelling is a way to pass on knowledge and tradition, allowing us to interpret history and expand our understanding of the world. Specifically, our museums use storytelling to share the significance of St Andrews’ contributions to the advancement of education, science, art, religion and more. With an everchanging line up of temporary exhibitions, there is no end to the possibilities for storytelling at the University of St Andrews Museums.

Why use different methods of learning?

Learning is not one-size-fits-all. Storytelling can take many forms, including through text, audio, images, video, or any combination of these formats. 

Employing a variety of storytelling methods is a fantastic way to reach leave a lasting impression many people as possible.

How do we currently tell stories?

Museums must hold storytelling at its heart to illuminate the wonders of a fascinating collection to every visitor.  Museums tell stories primarily and traditionally through exhibitions and coming soon we will have two exhibitions Church,Cult,City: Medieval St Andrews and an exciting touring exhibition from the British Library with Treasures on Tour: John Hardyng’s Map of Scotland. These exhibitions will use various methods of storytelling incorporating interpretive text and links to online information that can be accessed by visitors.

As technology has advanced, our museums have adapted to engage a broader audience through digital storytelling. On site, smartphone users can utilise our Smartify audio tours to explore stories behind collection highlights.  If you’re unable to make it to our museums, Smartify tours can also be viewed online from home.

Many more of the University of St Andrews Museums storytelling resources can be accessed from home, including:

Smartify tours of the Bell Pettigrew Museum

The Curiosity Conversation
The Curiosity Conversation Podcast The Curiosity Conversation • A podcast on Anchor

‘Wellbeing Wednesdays’ Video blog Wellbeing Wednesdays – YouTube

Why not try out some of these different storytelling resources for yourself and see how they inspire you?