Launch: MDNW Contemporary Collecting Toolkit

Collecting contemporary histories to ensure collections are up to date and relevant can be a major task for museums. For some, contemporary collecting is high on the agenda, but for others it’s a new approach and one that may feel overwhelming at first.

To help, MDNW commissioned independent curator Jen Kavanagh to develop a Contemporary Collecting Toolkit.

This toolkit is an introduction to contemporary collecting, for museum staff and volunteers who don’t have direct experience of acquiring recent material and who want to understand the basics. It aims to provide advice and guidance on how to undertake contemporary collecting projects, outlining some of the practical considerations that need to be made and showcasing examples from museums.


We will be adding new case studies to the toolkit next year from three museums in the North West that took part in our Contemporary Collecting Pilot Programme in 2018-19.

We hope the toolkit provides some inspiration and support for those looking at collecting projects. To download your copy click this link: MDNW_ContemporaryCollectingToolkit_July2019

Green GB Week, 4-8th November 2019 – Carbon Literacy workshops


In June 2019 the UK  government set a  legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Two-thirds of Britons agree that the planet is in a climate emergency. Schoolchildren in the UK and around the world have taken to the streets to voice their growing alarm. Museums, big and small, must play their part in addressing climate change if they are to stay relevant to their visitors.

4-8th November 2019 is the UK’s second Green GB Week; a week of events and activities inspiring businesses, schools, colleges, universities, community groups and charities to take action on tackling climate change. MDNW is making the pledge that, during Green GB Week, there will be a Carbon Literacy workshop running within 40 miles of every Accredited museum in the North West.

Our full day workshops, delivered either by MDNW staff or our network of Carbon Literacy trainers, are open to any staff, volunteers or trustees in any Accredited museum (or museum working towards Accreditation) in the North West, or any staff from a recognised organisation that supports the museums in our region.

If demand for our workshops in Green GB week outstrips the number of places available we also pledge to put on additional workshops to meet that demand.

The workshop dates are:

To book a place on any of these click on the date of the workshop.

Since 2016 MDNW has been working with the Carbon Literacy Project and is one of only four organisations to be recognised as a Carbon Literacy Training Organisation. We, and our network of trainers from museums across the region, have run the training to nearly 300 people. We have also given advice to other sector support organisations and museums across England and Wales wanting to roll out Carbon Literacy themselves.

The Carbon Literacy project aims to give 1 million people a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy training.

The workshop will give you an understanding of what climate change is, the scale of its effects, and how museums fit into the global, national and local picture to address climate change. You will become Carbon Literate by making an individual pledge, and an organisational pledge to take back to your museum, of what you can do, and is in your power to achieve, to make a significant difference to your carbon footprint.

In the words of a previous delegate, ‘Carbon Literacy is about understanding what I actually need to do, where I can get help to do it, actually doing it and seeing that I’ve done it.’




Job Opportunity – Blackpool Council

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Heritage Assistant
Salary: £19,544 per annum
Location: Blackpool
Hours: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Closing date: 27 August 2019

Blackpool Council Heritage Service is seeking a Heritage Assistant to join  as a permanent member of staff.

For more details and how to apply visit:

Job Opportunity – Royal Horticultural Society

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Interpretation Coordinator
Salary: Up to £26,000 per annum
Location: Salford
Hours: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Closing date: 4pm 6 September 2019

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are looking for an Interpretation Coordinator at the new RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford.

To apply please visit the website via the link and apply online using the application form at:

2019 Sporting Heritage & the Armed Forces Roadshow


As part of the second year of this exciting project, and to celebrate and support this year’s National Sporting Heritage Day, we are bringing our training to a town near you!

Each free packed session on our autumn Sporting Heritage & the Armed Forces Roadshow, will be full of bite sized topics to support the way you present, interpret and record your collections. Sessions will include practical digitisation support, hands-on object mounting and display advice, top tips for label writing, and ideas to support the creation of object handling activities.

Events will be held across the country with one in the North West:

  • Tuesday 24th September at The Fusiliers Museum, Bury

To book your place, please visit this link:


Sporting Heritage Summit 2019

Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th October 2019
CC4 Museum of Welsh Cricket, Cardiff

This year’s Sporting Heritage Summit programme has now been announced, so if you are thinking of attending don’t delay as places are limited.

You can view the full two day programme here.

The conference draws together individuals from across the sector including sports clubs, governing bodies, museums, archives, schools, universities, and community groups.

To find out more and to book a place, click here.

The Sporting Heritage Summit 2019 is delivered in partnership with Microform Imaging Limited and the Welsh Government.

Any queries regarding the Summit can be directed to Ali Glew, Conference Organiser,

Join the Museums Association Ethics Committee


The Museums Association (MA) is looking for a new member to join the Ethics Committee.

The committee is responsible for upholding the principles of the Code of Ethics for Museums and overseeing the effective and consistent operation of the code.

The aim of the Ethics Committee is to develop and champion the application of sound ethical principles and behaviours within the museum community; give advice and guidance on ethical matters to the museum community, including MA board and staff; and review the code and recommend to the MA board amendments to the Code of Ethics, where necessary.

The role involves attending approximately four meetings per year at the MA’s offices in London and liaising as a committee via email and telephone. The role is not remunerated but expenses are reimbursed.

We are particularly looking for a committee member with experience in any of the following areas: sponsorship and international work; community engagement; data use and digital engagement.

For further information please click here


Small-Scale Development Programme

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The next ACE-funded Small-Scale Development Programme is taking place on 30 October – 1 November in Leeds.

This programme is specifically designed for leaders of small-scale arts and cultural organisations in England. It’s content is tailored to help leaders gain a better understanding of their audiences, define their organisation’s vision and make marketing a key part of their strategic planning.

The programme is subsidised by Arts Council England, delegates get pay £95 + VAT for a 2.5 day residential and follow up coaching sessions.

For more details and how to book visit:

National Programmes Conference 2019 – Tickets on Sale

This year’s conference will take place at the British Museum on Monday 4 November 2019, 09:30-17:00. It aims to explore equality and diversity in museum practice across the UK – highlighting issues of representation, authority and power with particular focus on disability, class, gender, race and sexuality.

The conference seeks to provide a platform for people working in and with museums to honestly and openly share their work, research and ideas on how UK museums can address their own histories and those of their communities. The conference will focus on museum practice: addressing the realities of museum work and how colleagues are effecting change within their organisations.

Tickets are available to purchase online via the British Museum’s website (scroll to the ‘How to book’ section). Concessions tickets are available for anyone who needs them (e.g. disabled people, students, early-career professionals, low-waged or unemployed people).

A limited number of travel bursaries are available for those who would otherwise be unable to attend. These will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to request one, please email once you have booked your ticket, explaining why attending the conference will be beneficial to you and your work, and what support you need.


British Library Labs Symposium

11 November 2019 – British Library NW1 2DB 


The BL Labs Symposium is an international annual networking event and awards ceremony showcasing innovative projects which have used the British Library’s digital collections and data over the past year. The awards recognise outstanding use of British Library’s digital content in the categories of Research, Commercial, Artistic, or Teaching & Learning. This will be our seventh annual symposium.

For more details and how to book please visit:

Museums+Tech 2019: openness

Details about upcoming Museums Computer Group event.

Museums+Tech 2019: openness

Friday October 18 2019 – British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB


How can museums and other cultural organisations be more open in terms of their collections and processes, is openness always desirable, and what barriers might we have to overcome for truly open digital cultural heritage?

Museums and other cultural organisations have long been encouraged to be more open, in multiple senses of the word. From a technology point of view, this idea often centres on sharing collections data, producing open source software and tools, and developing open standards – all of which could have far-reaching implications for user engagement, future collaborations, and long-term preservation.

Don’t miss your chance to hear inspirational presentations and cutting-edge case studies, take part in discussions on the latest thinking in the digital museum world, and network with an international audience.

Museums Computer Group’s events are an opportunity to learn from experts and peers, and have an excellent track record for featuring a range of emerging and eminent speakers presenting on topics that matter to you now.

Come prepared to challenge speakers, ask questions and network in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We will also host an evening event open to all so you can continue the conversations started during the day.

For more details and how to book please visit: