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Exhibition view of the Mummy Room

Human Remains Research Project

Evaluating visitor responses to the display of human remains at the Museum

About the project

This research project focuses on evaluating visitor responses to the display of human remains in the Chau Chak Wing Museum. Using online surveys completed by Museum visitors upon their departure, we aim to gain a greater understanding of how visitors engage, react and respond to the curation and display of human remains in physical and 3D visual formats within our exhibition contexts. 


The survey will commence the week of 18 July 2022. We aim to collect 200 responses from onsite visitors over a two to three-month period. Survey respondents must be aged 18+ and all information gathered will be anonymous. 

As a thank you, survey respondents will receive a 10% discount voucher for the Museum shop. This is single-use only and is valid until the end of 2022. 

What we will do with the results

The data gathered from this research project will help to inform future exhibitions and will help set new guidelines on the display, care, treatment and interpretation of all human remains in the Museum's collection. 

We will also publish the survey data in leading peer-reviewed publications.

Research team

This is a collaborative project comprising: 

Internal investigators
PI: Dr Melanie Pitkin, Senior Curator, Nicholson Collection
Co-I: Candace Richards, Assistant Curator, Nicholson Collection
Sabrina Baron, Volunteer, Nicholson Collection

External investigators
Professor Ronika Power, Macquarie University
Jacinta Carruthers, Macquarie University
Dr Rafie Cecilia, University College London

This project has been approved by the University of Sydney's Human Research Ethics Committee. Project No. 2022/379

Header image: The Mummy Room at the Chau Chak Wing Museum

For more information about the project, contact

Dr Melanie Pitkin