Tuesday 5 April, 2016

National Museums Scotland has appointed Dr Katie Stevenson as its new Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology.

Dr Stevenson is currently a Senior Lecturer in Late Mediaeval History and the Director of the Institute of Scottish Historical Research at the University of St Andrews, where she has been a member of the teaching staff since 2005.

She has published extensively on medieval Scotland and most recently for Edinburgh University Press, Power and Propaganda: Scotland, 1306-1488, part of the New History of Scotland series. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, she is also a recipient of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Thomas Reid Medal in the Humanities and Creative Arts.

In 2015 she co-founded Smart History, a commercial company providing content and mobile packages for the heritage and tourism sectors.

Dr Stevenson joins the department at a very exciting time for National Museums Scotland. On 8 July 2016, in its 150th anniversary year, the National Museum of Scotland will open ten new galleries of decorative art, fashion and design, science and technology. She will lead her department in growing and researching its collections, increasing its national and international profile and engaging an ever increasing audience with the department’s activity.

She has a degree in History and Archaeology from the University of Melbourne. Her PhD from the University of Edinburgh was on chivalry and knighthood in early Stewart Scotland.

Xerxes Mazda, Director of collections at National Museums Scotland, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Dr Katie Stevenson to National Museums Scotland. She will be a valuable addition to the department and I look forward to working with her as she realises the potential of our important collections in this area, focusing and developing our research and widening access to our many audiences through our exhibitions and displays.”

Of her appointment Dr Katie Stevenson said,

“I am thrilled to be joining national Museums Scotland. It is a great privilege to be leading such a talented and esteemed department. National Museums’ first-class collections provide a deep connection to our nation’s history and I am looking forward to shaping research, developing the collections, and rejuvenating the presentation of Scotland’s past for current and future generations.”

Dr Stevenson’s research interests include the exercise of power in the late Middle Ages with particular focus upon the fifteenth century. She has written on chivalric culture in late medieval Scotland and its role in political life, the cultural life of the royal courts, and the orders of chivalry in late medieval Europe. Her most recent research project, The Power of Pedigree: The Stewart Dynasty and the Foundations of Royal Authority is an exploration of the relationship between dynasticism and propaganda in the creation, assertion and maintenance of authority.

Dr Stevenson will take up her appointment on 1 August.

Notes to Editors

  1. National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and it looks after collections of national and international importance. The organisation provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.
  2. The National Museum of Scotland reopened in summer 2011 following a three-year, £50m redevelopment. With over 8 million visitors since reopening, the National Museum of Scotland is the most popular museum in the country outside of London (source: Association of Leading Visitor Attractions). The National Museum of Scotland was awarded ‘Gold’ Level Green Tourism Visitor Attraction status in 2016.

Further information from Susan Gray, Press Office, on 0131 247 4088 or email s.gray@nms.ac.uk.