Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

9 awe-inspiring things to see at this history festival in Aberdeen

A photo of an elephant skeleton

Imagine having the opportunity to explore behind-the-scenes at a university, and enjoy a sneak peek into some of the artefacts on display in its museum and library….

Families are invited to do just that at this upcoming History & Heritage Festival, part of the new UNI-Versal festival series at the University of Aberdeen.

During the three-day event you can enjoy a programme of free family-friendly events on offer from September 15-17.

Sharing stories spanning five centuries

The University of Aberdeen’s Sir Duncan Rice Library, Zoology Museum and Cruickshank Botanic Garden have always been popular destinations for families and for many a school trip and will now host the UNI-Versal History & Heritage Festival taking place from September 15-17.

It has been launched because the University (which dates back to 1495) wants to share its five centuries-worth of stories, artefacts and historical research.

The festival is an important one in the University’s 2022 events calendar – and in the Aberdeen events calendar too. So if you are wondering what is on Aberdeen, you know where to head with the family for a hands-on experience you will not forget.

History festival in Aberdeen: 9 highlights

Here are 9 amazing highlights to see and do at the festival (but there are many more to enjoy here):

1. Tour the recently re-opened Zoology Museum

A picture of a taxidermy tiger in the Zoology museum, the tour to the museum will be part of the history festival in Aberdeen
You will ‘meet’ this tiger at the Zoology Museum.

This is a unique opportunity to visit this popular museum once again following its temporary closure for several years. Firstly, it was closed for refurbishment, then Covid-19 hit, but now it has reopened. Special tours of the museum have been arranged for each day of the festival. Booking is essential as these tours are popular!

Neil Curtis, Head of Museums and Special Collections, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome visitors and families to the University again and to our recently re-opened Zoology Museum.”

2. Admire the massive elephant skeleton

A photo of a big elephant skeleton at the University's museum that people will be able to see at the history festival in Aberdeen in September
Here’s the big elephant skeleton in the foyer.

Visitors often confuse this giant imposing skeleton with a woolly mammoth, but it is in fact an elephant – and very impressive in its stature. If you have not seen this yet, you really ought to!

3. Let your children become storytelling stars

At the history festival in Aberdeen, as part of the family fun Saturday, a brilliant workshop will allow children to explore their inner storyteller, as they learn how to bring life to stories and perform in front of an audience!

4. Explore the history of Cruickshank Botanic Garden

A lovely photo of Cruickshank Botanic Gardens in Aberdeen
Cruickshank Botanic Gardens – which was once home to Aberdeen FC.

You may be amazed to discover that this, pictured above, is the original home of an earlier version of Aberdeen Football Club!

5. Take a sneak peek inside Pittodrie, the current home of Aberdeen FC

On this tour you will be given access all areas into the dressing room, press room, tunnel and even be allowed on the famous pitch.

6. Enjoy an interactive storytelling workshop

Picture of storyteller Andy Cannon who will be performing at the history festival in Aberdeen.
Storyteller Andy Cannon.

Brilliant storyteller Andy Cannon, pictured above, will lead this engaging workshop, with the theme ‘facts meets fiction’, will show you how to tell fantastic tales and use fiction as the basis for your quest to discover the facts.

7. Learn about Aberdeen’s first printing press

A photo of a stained glass window depicting Edward Raban, Aberdeen's first printer
A stained glass creation depicting Edward Raban, the first printer in Aberdeen.

And discover Edward Raban the man who brought it to the city. Learn about his life and work as part of a series of historical talks.

8. Read a book from the 1100s at the history festival in Aberdeen

During a visit to the Sir Duncan Rice Library, you will be given an exciting opportunity to get up close to hundreds of years of history as you admire the treasures in the university’s archives, including a book dating back to the 12th century and an item that once belonged to the university’s founder, Bishop Elphinstone.

9. Witness a video game about the deadly Plague in action

The University’s historians helped to create a video game based on Aberdeen’s Burgh Records which allows gamers to enter the city in 1498, when it was trying to fight the Plague.

The UNI-Versal History & Heritage Festival is produced in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen Museums and Special Collections team as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022.

Most events at the History and Heritage Festival in Aberdeen are free of charge and booking is required for some sessions.