Subhadra Das

Subhadra Das


UCL Teaching & Research Collections

Rm. 223, 2nd Floor Wilkins Building
University College London
London WC1E 6BT

+44 (0)20 7679 2582 (x.32582)


Subhadra is one of a team of curators working with the teaching and research collections at UCL. She is primary contact for UCL Pathology Collections and the Galton Collection. 

She has two MAs, which is possibly one more than is entirely necessary. One of these is in Archaeology, the other in Museum Studies. She has worked for UCL Museums & Collections since 2005, starting out as museum trainee at the Petrie Museum. Since then she has also worked at UCL Art Collections and on the Collections Review. The Review applied an original methodology to all of UCL’s museums and collections in order to work out what we have, where we have it, how well we take care of it and how we use it. Outcomes of the Review have included a more strategic approach to managing the collections and Disposal? – a consultative interactive exhibition which asked our audiences for their opinions about what we should keep and what we should get rid of.

Subhadra was previously Cultural Property Advisor for UCL. For more information on cultural property, or the teaching and research collections in general, get in touch with Subhadra via the details above.


  • BA Archaeology (General), UCL
  • MA Archaeology (General), UCL
  • MA Musuem Studies, UCL

Research interests

  • The history of science and medicine, particularly at UCL
  • Theory and practice in collections management, particularly disposal
  • Engaging non-specialists with social and historical sciences
  • Collaborating on consultative and co-produced exhibitions
  • The use of humour in museum interpretation

Conference and other presentations

  • 2016: blooloopLIVErpool, International Festival of Business 2016. Public Lecture "Communicating difficult subjects".
  • 2016: Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House. London. Public lecture "BBD Data Dating: Francis Galton and Florence Nightingale, A Match Made in Statistical Heaven?".
  • 2016: Understanding British Portraits Network Day. London. Conference Paper "The composite photography of Sir Francis Galton".
  • 2016: Curating Human Remains in the UK Conference (NatSCA and Museum Ethnographers' Group). Bristol. Conference Paper "UCL Pathology Collections: From Review to Museum in 14 and a half easy steps".
  • 2014: The Future of Museums One-Day Conference. London. Conference Paper "Happily Never After".
  • 2012: Humour in Archaeology One-Day Workshop. Animated Presentation "Funny Museum, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love My Sense of Humour".
  • 2011: Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference. Birmingham. Conference Presentation "Funny Museum, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love My Sense of Humour".
  • 2010: Museums Association Annual Conference. Manchester. Conference Session "The Democratic Exhibition".
  • 2010: UCL Public Engagement Symposium. Conference Presentation "Disposal?: A Consultative Exhibition".
  • 2010: University Museums Group AGM. Conference Presentation "Disposal?: A Consultative Exhibition".
  • 2009 - 2010: Reviewing Collections series of workshops run in conjunction with the Museums Association as part of the Effective Collections Initiative.
  • 2008: Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference. Southampton. Conference Paper "The opiate of the archaeologist".
  • 2008: Museums Association Annual Conference. Liverpool. Conference Session "Collections Poker".


  • Das, S., Passmore, E. and Dunn, J. 2011, Disposal? How to Run A Democratic Exhibition, Museums and the Disposals Debate - A Collection of Essays. MuseumsEtc: Edinburgh; reprinted in MuseumsEtc: 10 Must Reads: Interpretation, MuseumsEtc: Edinburgh
  • Das, S. 2011, Disposal? A Democratic Exhibition at UCL Museums & Collections. 11/12, 5-7 (Available here)
  • Das, S. 2014, The Lazarus Collection. Museums + Heritage Advisor (available here)

Press and media

Exhibitions curated

  • 2015: UCL Pathology Museum (UCL Public & Cultural Engagement).
  • 2011: Pop-Ups at UCL Art Museum - Strange Creatures (UCL Art Museum). In order to illustrate published accounts of the journeys of early travelers, some artists had to draw animals which they themselves had never seen. This pop-up display offered a chance to take inspiration from these works and others from the UCL Art Museum to create and draw your own strange creatures.
  • 2011: The Eyes Have It (UCL Museums & Public Engagement). An eclectic and light-hearted exhibition on, around and about the eye. Displays included how the eye works and eye-related objects from the collections, along with the devices we use to widen our window on the world.
  • 2009: Disposal? (UCL Museums & Public Engagment).  Disposal?invited visitors to comment on the most challenging question faced by museums today: What should we collect and hold on to and what should we get rid of? The exhibition included objects which would not normally be on display, such as a crusher which can apply the weight of 150 hippos, a collection of plastic dinosaurs and slides containing microscopic fossils, a picnic basket linked to Agatha Christie, soil samples collected before the Channel Tunnel was built and a radioactive rock used in a Nobel Prize-winning experiment. Among these were five objects earmarked for disposal that the public could vote on.