University of Glasgow chiefs are to sign a cross-Atlantic agreement with the largest museum in the world.
The partnership between the university and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC will ensure continued access to historic collections in Scotland and the US taught by leading academics.
The new agreement covers everything from antiquities to astrophysics, the preservation of natural ecosystems and protection of cultural heritage, including both institutions’ Whistler art collections.
The Smithsonian is the largest museum, education and research organisation in the world.
The institution has 19 museums, nine research centres, 154 million objects and an annual budget of $US1.5 billion (£1.11bn).
The institutions will sign the agreement today at a ceremony in Washington DC at 7pm UK time.
The move builds upon a memorandum of understanding signed between the two institutions in 2016.
The partnership will also extend staff research collaborations and exchanges as well as student internships and work placements.
Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, and Smithsonian provost Dr John Davis will sign the agreement.
Sir Anton said: “The University of Glasgow is proud of our reputation as a leading place of learning, teaching and research in Scotland, but at the same time we have always had an international outlook.
“This agreement will significantly develop and enhance our close working partnership with colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution as well as strengthening our bonds of friendship.”
Dr Davis said: “This strategic partnership between the Smithsonian and the University of Glasgow builds on the strong bonds these two great institutions already share.
“We look forward to many more years of collaborating and exchanging ideas on the important issues facing our world today.”
Professor Nick Pearce, the Richmond chair of fine arts (History of Art) at the University of Glasgow and a Smithsonian Research Associate, said: “We are already engaged in exciting joint research projects and the Smithsonian is an important international partner for us in so many areas.
“Glasgow students are also benefiting from work placements and knowledge exchange which is wonderful for our community of learners, teachers and researchers.”