Kilmarnock & District History Group · Kilmarnock · Ayrshire · KA1 3AZ

Dick Institute

Featuring a programme of nationally important exhibitions, permanent displays of the museum’s diverse collections and innovative work by contemporary artists, film makers and young people from the area, the Dick Institute has a growing reputation. Opened in 1901, the Dick Institute is one of the most important cultural venues in the south-west of Scotland, featuring the largest museum and gallery spaces in Ayrshire. It is also East Ayrshire’s central lending library.

Featuring a programme of nationally important exhibitions, permanent displays of the museum’s diverse collections and innovative work by contemporary artists, film makers and young people from the area, the Dick Institute has a growing reputation for the quality and scope of its exhibitions and events.

Previous major exhibitions at the Dick Institute have included Quentin Blake, Wallace and Gromit, Cutting Edge, Radical Nature, Bill Viola, Daydreams and Diaries: The Story of Jacqueline Wilson, Generation and Robert Colquhoun. Many of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists including Kenny Hunter, Simon Ward and Christine Borland have been shown and creative commissioning programmes have supported artistic talent, by linking with major shows like Ayrshire Innovators, Creative Burns and South By South West.

The South Museum and Loom Room feature stories of the local and social history of the area - what job did your grandparents do? How were prisoners dressed 200 years ago? How many copies of Robert Burns’ ‘Kilmarnock Edition’ were published and how many survive today? Find the answers to these questions and more!  The North Museum contains objects from our natural history sciences and archaeology collections, some of which have never been displayed before! You’ll find favourites such as Brian the Lion, Samantha the dinosaur and the whale jawbone, plus fascinating objects like our 400 million scorpion fossil!

The Young People’s Gallery is a dedicated space programmed for, and by, young people in East Ayrshire.

The lending library, audio library, junior library and learning centre, housed on the ground floor, all offer a vast range of resources as well as regular Bookbug sessions for youngsters, meet the author events, literary festivals and much more!