Dr Karen Logan

Senior Curator of History

  • Department: History
  • Email address: Karen.logan@nmni.com

Core responsibilities:

Karen manages a team responsible for the History, Archaeology and World Cultures collections at the Ulster Museum and the Ulster Transport Museum at Cultra. She plays a leading role in the research, management and development of these collections and in supporting collections access and interpretation.

With a specialism in contemporary and community history, Karen curates the Modern History collection and led on the development of the Ulster Museum’s ‘Troubles and Beyond’ exhibition, which opened in March 2018.  Her focus is on the legacy of the past and community history in Northern Ireland. She has published on these themes and curated several temporary and touring exhibitions including Gay Life and Liberation; A Photographic Record from 1970s Belfast and Figures Through the Wire; Artwork by Geordie Morrow.

Staff background:

Karen has a research background and her first roles in the museum sector involved working on a digitisation project and completing a vocational qualification based on the maritime and industrial collections. She went on to support the development of the Modern History galleries at the Ulster Museum, focusing in particular on the 19th and 20th century collections.  In 2016, Karen became Project Curator of the Collecting the Troubles and Beyond project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project aimed to widen the scope of the collection, supported by greater academic and community engagement, to enhance the interpretation of our recent past.

Karen developed an approach based on encouraging dialogue, building understanding and presenting critical narrative and interpretation, within which multiple perspectives intersect. This is an approach which we feel can be applied to other initiatives and in other contexts around the world. Karen has developed a strong network of key stakeholders and partners both locally and internationally and through this work, the Ulster Museum has joined the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Karen is also part of the War and Conflict subject specialist network led by the Imperial War Museum and a number of LGBT+ History networks.

In December 2018, Karen was one of seven curators across the UK to be awarded a Headley Research Fellowship with Art Fund, supported by the Headley Trust. These fellowships were designed to encourage partnership and collaboration with the overall aim of developing and preserving specialist curatorial skills and expertise in museums. Karen’s research focused on contemporary and community history and resulted in the publication Curating Conflict: The Troubles and Beyond and a co-curated community display within the Modern History gallery on the theme of pandemics past and present.

Staff interests:

Karen’s interests include visiting other museum and heritage sites both locally and internationally and looking for inspiration and different ways of presenting or interpreting collections and collections knowledge. She enjoys travel and exploring the natural environment on walks and day trips, going to cinemas and theatres and spending time with friends.


Logan, K. (2020) Curating Conflict: The Troubles and Beyond. AV Browne: Belfast.

Logan, K. (2018) ‘Collecting the Troubles and Beyond: The role of the Ulster Museum in interpreting contested history’ in ICOM Germany (ed.): Difficult issues. Proceedings of the ICOM international conference 2017. Heidelberg: Art Historicum.

Logan, K. and Simpson, M.L. (2013) Two Men of Mourne; Photographs by Pat Hudson and Cecil Newman. Down County Museum: Downpatrick.


Inside Culture with Mary Beard

Radio 4 Collecting the Troubles at the Ulster Museum