Social History Curators’ Group – Call for contributions

2023 conference, ‘Activism and Professional Practice in the Changing World’
The Social History Curators’ Group (SHCG) are calling for papers and contributions to their conference in Birmingham in June 2023, ‘Activism and Professional Practice in the Changing World’. The conference will be in-person with the options for pre-recorded contributions/papers.

SHCG would like to receive proposals of presentations, case studies, round table discussions, activities and workshops on the theme of activism in social history. How are museums and other cultural and heritage-based venues addressing and encouraging action on activist issues like:

  • Decolonisation
  • Anti-racism
  • Environmentalism
  • Sustainability
  • Accessibility
  • LGBTQ+ inclusion
  • Cost of living crisis
  • Disability rights

In addition, SHCG is keen to hear from a wide range of organisations, not just museums but other cultural or heritage-based venues, cultural consortiums, local authorities, independent practitioners and any other groups who are working to tackle these ongoing issues.

This year, SHCG is looking for both presentations and interactive workshops that relate to the topics outlined above. The more thought provoking, unusual, practical and insightful, the better. It welcomex contributions which pose difficult questions and are keen to hear from projects which might not have gone as planned or were considered unsuccessful in their outcomes – SHCG wants to create a space for honest dialogue and problem solving.

SHCG is keen to hear from anyone working within social history in museums and heritage sites, not only those in curatorial positions. It particularly encourages discussions from diverse voices in the sector, such as from ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ communities and those that identify as disabled, although speakers will not be asked to disclose these characteristics.

Contributors are invited to offer perspectives from a local, national or international context. SHCG is keen to accept more contributions that stem from thinking ‘outside the box’ and will allow delegates to reflect on and think about the role of Social History and its future. You do not have to be a member of SHCG to submit a paper or workshop to the conference.

For more information see Deadline for applications is 27th January 2023.

Call for submission – book and exhibition reviews
Try something new in the new year and write a review of a recent book, podcast or exhibition for the 2023 edition of the SHCG Journal, Social History in Museums. The theme for the next issue is:

Museum and Activism: how can social history play its part?

If you’ve read a book, heard a podcast or seen an exhibition that you feel showcases how social history plays a part in the activism of museums, please get in touch with the Journal Editor, Kirsty Parsons, at You do not have to be a curator or a member of the SHCG to write a review for the Journal.

SHCG can support you in the purchase of books or exhibition tickets for review and reviews should be written by someone outside of the organisation being reviewed.

Please get in touch with the Journal Editor by the Friday 13th January 2023 with details of what you propose to review and how it’s relevant to the Journal.

Collections Trust, Art UK and University of Leicester announce new Museum Data Service

Objects and knowledge from the UK’s world-class museums will soon be easier to find and work with, thanks to an ambitious collaboration between Art UK, Collections Trust and the University of Leicester. With generous funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, work has started on a new Museum Data Service that will launch in autumn 2023 and transform the way we all can work with these collections.

The service will pool millions of object records – decades’ worth of knowledge from UK institutions large and small – and share them as the raw material for countless public and research uses. The service will also provide high-level information about each collection.

The first major user of data from the new infrastructure will be Art UK, which already brings more than 300,000 artworks, from 3,400 collections, to an online audience of over 4.5m people a year. The Museum Data Service will allow Art UK to scale up its operation adding millions more artworks over time. Thanks to support from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Digital Accelerator Programme, Art UK will also build a new state-of-the-art e-commerce platform to generate much-needed commercial income for its partner collections.

Collections Trust will use its longstanding relationship with hundreds of smaller museums to help them make the most of the new service, and broker data-based projects that demonstrate the Museum Data Service’s game-changing potential for the UK museum sector as a whole.

The University of Leicester’s new Institute for Digital Culture completes the partnership, bringing a research dimension to the design and use of the service, the data expertise and technical capacity of a leading university, and a bridge to longer-term infrastructure ambitions for the wider digital humanities.

With guidance from the Open Data Institute on sustainable data stewardship, the three founding partners will set up a new joint organisation by spring 2024 to run the core service beyond the start-up phase and for decades to come.

Arts Council England – Digital Culture Awards

From Arts Council England

Arts Council England and the Digital Culture Network are excited to announce the second Digital Culture Awards – celebrating digital and tech innovation in creativity and culture.

Since 2019, the Digital Culture Network has supported over 1250 organisations and individuals with their digital transformation projects, and we continue to be inspired by the innovation and agility our sector displays.

That’s why we’re once again searching for the very best in digital transformation, digital engagement, and use of technology in creativity and culture in England. Whether you’ve reached new engagement heights from a social media or email marketing campaign, revamped your online shop, taken your creative offer online or made use of your data to drive organisational change – we want to hear about it!

Submissions are open now and close at 5pm on Thursday 12 January 2023.

Shortlisted organisations and individuals will be notified in late February and at the same time voting will open for our two People’s Choice categories.

Winners will be announced at an event for the Shortlist in Spring 2023 and everyone else will be invited to join us virtually.

For full details see


Job Opportunity: Salford Community Leisure

Strategic Lead – Arts & Creative Health
Salary: £32,090 – £35,411 pro rata
Part time, 21.6 hours over 3 days
Contract: Fixed term – 3 years
Closing date: Friday 20th January 2023

From Salford Community Leisure

Salford Community Leisure (SCL) is committed to Building a Great Place to Work; with over 400 employees servicing more than 3 million customer visits at 60 venues across the city each year. We exist to ‘enhance the lives of people through providing sport, leisure and cultural opportunities.’

We pride ourselves on recruiting the right people with the right values into the right roles. We are looking for professional, respectful, knowledgeable, passionate and solution driven people to join our team as we strive to deliver excellence to our customers.

We have an exciting new position available for the Strategic Lead for Arts & Creative Health whose role will be to co-ordinate the fantastic arts, heritage and cultural work already taking place in SCL from a Creative Health perspective.

This role will be cross-service to encompass the myriad of positive work taking place in this field throughout our large organisation.

We are looking for someone who:

  • Maximises collaborative opportunities within SCL for Creative Health and Arts work for the benefit of service users and operational development
  • Represents SCL at relevant Salford and Greater Manchester networks and advocates for our work at regional and national levels
  • Will work closely with key partners in Salford to develop and deliver an evidence-based, joined-up strategy
  • Identifies and leads in applying for grant funding to support this work
  • Consistently demonstrates SCL’s behaviours

We would particularly welcome applications from people with experience of: arts development, creative health, cultural services and/or health.

If you wish to be considered for this role and join our team please return your application form to Tina Parsons, Head of MAPAS, ensuring you detail how you meet and demonstrate the skills, experience, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the Person Specification.

For full details go to

MDNW Cost of living update

As we hit the first really cold snap of the winter here’s a summary of information and support available for museums to distribute to staff, volunteers and visitors who may be finding it hard to make ends meet.

Nationally, the Help for Households section of the government’s website outlines the different cost of living support schemes available for individuals and households, including eligibility, amounts and how these will be applied.

Today’s weather and the forecast for the next few days has triggered the criteria for Cold Weather Payments for some eligible households in some parts of the North West.

Regionally, more local support available in addition to the national support is listed on local authority websites.

The following county councils each have a dedicated cost of living section on their websites and each have started to list the places in the county acting as warm spaces:

Cheshire East Council
Cost of living 
Warm PlaCEs 

Cheshire West and Chester Council
Cost of living
Warm, Welcoming Spaces

Cumbria County Council
Cost of living
Warm Spots

Lancashire County Council
Cost of living
Lancashire Warm Spaces

District, borough and city councils within these counties also have local information available.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority includes links to each of the local council cost of living web pages. Not all of the local council pages include lists of warm spaces but this Manchester Evening News article provides some information and further links.

For Merseyside each of the individual district, borough and city councils has dedicated cost of living web pages including a warm spaces section.

Hyper-locally, information on some community support e.g. food banks distribution/donation or short notice events is only available through social media. For visitors without digital access or who don’t use social media museums can help spread the word with messages on their noticeboards or at their reception desks etc.

For museums, here’s a recap of some guides if you’re thinking of setting up as a warm space:

CILIP – A Warm Welcome: Setting Up A Warm Space In Your Community

Kids in Museums – Supporting families during the cost of living crisis

And for helping staff, volunteers and freelancers:

Museums Association – Managing the cost of living crisis

Job Opportunity: Freelance Opportunity for Case Study Content Creation

Job Opportunity: Freelance Opportunity for Case Study Content Creation
Job title: Freelance Practitioner
£5000 (including VAT and any travel/subsistence expenses). 50% of the fee to be paid at the start of the work, 50% upon completion.
Home working, site visits required across south east region.
c.12 x working days (4 site visits, 8 x days prep & post-editing work)
Contract: Fixed term – between January and April 2023
Closing date: 5pm, Friday 6 January 2023

From South East Museum Development (SEMD):

In 2022-23 we have committed to profiling a range of museums and heritage organisations across the south east; creating dynamic video case studies to promote best practice in museums in our region related to Arts Council England’s Investment Principles as part of their ‘Let’s Create’ strategy.

This digital content will be shared on, in our regular e-newsletter and across our social media platforms (Twitter and YouTube).

To create this new digital content, we wish to recruit a freelance practitioner to carry out the work, offering an opportunity to an individual with relevant skills in communications, and media with a passion for heritage to work with our team to showcase our region’s brilliant museums.

Scoping potential museum case studies, making site visits to selected museums, digital content creation and delivery should take place between January and April 2023.

The practitioner will be home working, connecting with the SEMD team online and on site at museums. It is envisaged that a minimum of 4 museums will be selected for case study focus, which should take c.12 x working days (4 site visits, 8 x days prep & post-editing work).

The practitioner will need to be able to resource their own IT equipment and have access to video editing software (not provided). We will provide a high quality camera, microphone, and tripod.

How to Apply

We are committed to providing opportunities to applicants from those who are significantly underrepresented in our sector, such as young people, disabled people, and individuals from black and minority ethnic communities.

We welcome applications from everyone – diversity, inclusion and the feeling of belonging matters to us, and we offer a stimulating and professional environment in which to work.

To respond to the brief, please provide:

  • An introduction to you and your credentials
  • Details of your relevant experience and competency
  • Information on why you are interested in this opportunity

CVs are acceptable. The first two points on the list above or CV should be no more than 2 sides of A4 in total. Your response should be no longer than two sides of A4 in total or could take the form of a short video presentation.

Please email your response to with the subject line ‘Freelance Opportunity’.

For more information on this opportunity, please visit their website at this web address,

To download the job brief, please click the download button below.

Getting Started with Apprenticeships Training Programme

The Museum Development North regions – MD North East, MD North West and MD Yorkshire – are pleased to offer a new series of sessions, provided in partnership with Creative & Cultural Skills

Together, the sessions will introduce museums to the possibilities and requirements of hosting an apprenticeship, and guide you through thinking about how your organisation can do this well.

Hosting an apprenticeship is a valuable way of welcoming and enabling new entrants to join the museum sector. As a paid employment and development opportunity, apprenticeships can help to break down barriers created by social and economic inequality. In this way, they bring valuable and more diverse perspectives to your organisation and the museum sector. 

The sessions will help your museum:

  • Find out more about hosting an apprenticeship
  • Understand how to manage an apprenticeship well
  • Consider what a meaningful recruitment policy could look like to increase diversity in your workplace
  • Gain practical advice on how to induct and mentor an apprentice into your organisation

Museums can join one, any or all of this series of sessions:

Managers Guide to Apprenticeships
Wed 11 Jan 10:00 – 13:00

In depth session focusing on understanding apprenticeships including  – what they are/aren’t, the responsibilities of the employer versus the training provider, apprenticeship standards and how to select the most appropriate standard for the job role. Recruiting apprentices – things to consider when reaching out to those who may be new to the world of work: writing job descriptions, shortlisting, best practice approaches to recruitment and interview and working with young people. Accompanying written guide.  (Please content that is more focused on how to support new entrants through apprenticeships)

Click here to book a FREE ticket

 Developing a workforce policy
Tue 7 Feb 10:00 – 11:30

This session concentrates on helping employers introduce a meaningful workforce recruitment policy, encouraging them to actively consider the different entry routes they use, what they want to use these routes to do and the recruitment approaches and commitments they will make as company, with diversity and inclusion at the heart.

Click here to book a FREE ticket

Please note that the workshops are for those working in non-NPO / non-National Accredited museums in the North of England.

Culture24 Assessing Your Museum’s Digital Capacity Programme

Tue 21 Feb, Tue 28 Feb, Tue 7 Mar 2023 2-4pm 

There are 18 places on each course – 2 places for each of 9 museums. 

All sessions are being delivered for museums across the Museum Development North East, North West and Yorkshire regions. 

For more information please contact: /

For museums to be able to take full advantage of everything digital can offer, they must first understand how and where digital sits within their organisation. The Digital Culture Compass is a powerful tool which can help a museum to evaluate how digital relates to their organisation. This course helps smaller museums understand how to use the toolkit before applying it to their own organisations.  

In this three-part workshop, participants will be guided through using parts of the Digital Culture Compass to complete an assessment of some of their museum’s digital activities. They will leave with the confidence, tools and resources needed to complete the full toolkit within their own organisation, involving their staff, volunteers and trustees in the process. 

This course is aimed at people in senior leadership roles, and/or those with digital responsibilities in their museum – this includes chief executives, directors, board members and senior leaders.   

Two members from each participating museum should attend to ensure that they are able to enact and embed change more effectively within their organisation. Ideally the second member of staff or volunteer would be involved in delivery of the digital activities of the museum. 

More information and booking via MDNW for all regions here: 

Tender Opportunity: Museum Development UK

Equity in Museums Mentoring Programme

About MDUK

Museum Development UK (MDUK) is a network of national Museum Development providers and practitioners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. MDUK’s  goal is to collaborate to enable equitable, and innovative museums that welcome people from all backgrounds. Together we create a thriving museum sector by raising standards, driving excellence and training people working in museums.

Equity in Museums Mentoring Programme

Museums have the potential to create change and drive social justice. It is crucial that they strive to be inclusive, relevant and representative of the experiences of different communities.

In 2022, MDUK and the Association for Independent Museums commissioned a six-month intensive training programme: EIM – Equity in Museums. This programme supported 20 small and medium sized museums across England and Wales, with developing an Equity Action Plan.

Equity In Museums Mentoring follows up from EIM. It will provide tailored and specialist support to museums who have successfully completed the intensive training programme, with a focus on further developing or implementing their Equity Action Plan.

About the role

MDUK is recruiting consultants with a wide range of backgrounds, life experiences and  demonstrable expertise to mentor museums in the following areas:

  • Diversifying Volunteers;
  • Embedding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in your strategic planning;
  • Disabled access;
  • Working with communities (audience engagement);
  • Strategic planning for decolonising and decentralising the museum;
  • Inclusive interpretation.

The mentoring role will include:

  • Attending an online mentor briefing session (date to be confirmed);
  • Attending two online mentor update sessions: one at the start of the programme in January 2023 and the other at the end in June 2023;
  • Offering five mentoring sessions to the museum(s) they mentor between January 2023 and June 2023;
  • Reporting on their museum(s) progress;
  • Contributing to programme evaluation.


£1000 per museum mentored including expenses

The fee will be paid in two instalments – £750 upon signing of the contract and the remaining £250 paid at the end of the programme.

To apply for this role, please send:

•          A statement of no more than 1000 words, outlining:

  • why you are applying for this role;
  • the experience and skills you will bring;
  • how the above align with the areas of expertise mentioned above;
  •        An example of earlier relevant work;

•          The contact details of two referees.

Feel free to send your statement in the format most convenient to you: film, sound file, in writing, or web link.

Recruitment timetable:

Deadline for submissionMidday on Thursday 5th January 2023
InterviewsTuesday 10th January 2023

For more information and to submit your proposal please email Alex Bird, Museum Development Officer: Workforce and Skills –

Visitor Team Management & Development Network Meeting

The Grosvenor Museum, Chester
Monday 23rd January
10:30 – 12:00

Working alongside the Visitor Team at Manchester City Galleries and The Whitworth, the next meeting of the network will take place soon. Chaired by Chad McGitchie, Head of Visitor Teams for both sites, the network aims to bring together those working in Visitor Teams in museums across the North West to discuss best practice, share ideas and develop partnerships.

Please book a ticket on our eventbrite page, so that we know who is attending –

The agenda is yet to be finalised but do let Alex Bird know if there is anything you would like to discuss –