Category: Partnerships

British Museum – National programmes news

From the British Museum:

Call for Partners – Knowledge Exchange 2019

The British Museum is seeking five new national partners for the Knowledge Exchange programme 2019. The programme, generously funded by the Vivmar Foundation since 2010, offers the opportunity of a fully funded and co-ordinated five-day professional exchange between paid staff, in any role, at the five selected partner museums and the British Museum. The aim is to enable staff to share knowledge, skills and best practice and support their individual professional development. Further information and how to apply can be found here.

Deadline: Thursday 28th March 2019.

Call for Partners – New Spotlight Touring Exhibition

We are looking for partners to host a new Spotlight touring exhibition, The Lampedusa Cross. The Lampedusa Cross is made from pieces of a boat that was wrecked off the coast of Lampedusa on 11 October  2013 and we hope this exhibition will provide partner venues with a starting point for discussions about how Europe has responded to refugees and migrants, as well as the ethical and practical challenges that mass movements of people present.

If you are interested, please complete the Expression of Interest Form and return to Sophie Szynaka at by Friday 5th April 2019.

Save the Date – National Programmes Conference 2019

The next National Programmes Annual Conference will be held at the British Museum on Monday 4 November 2019 – please save the date! The conference will explore how museums are engaging with issues around race, gender, sexuality, power, class, hierarchy, ability and disability. The aim is to provide a platform for colleagues to honestly and openly share their work, their 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. The call for papers will be released shortly, seeking contributions from across the UK arts and cultural heritage sector through presentations, case studies, workshops and practical examples.

If you have any ideas you would like to discuss, please contact Knowledge Share Programme Manager Georgia Mallin at

Unique Partnership Opportunity: Touring highlights from The Courtauld Gallery’s Collection of Islamic Metalwork 

The Courtauld Gallery’s important collection of Islamic inlaid brass-ware contains some of the finest examples of this intricate and refined craft. Supported by the Art Fund, we are offering a fantastic opportunity to partner with The Courtauld and the Subject Specialist Network (SSN) for Islamic Art and Material Culture (hosted by Birmingham Museums).

Partner Institutions will be able to develop their own unique display and learning programme around these beautiful objects, with support from a range of experts. Highlights from this celebrated collection are available to tour to up to three host venue institutions in the UK between autumn 2019 and early 2021.

Don’t miss this opportunity to create a unique display and learning programme around The Courtauld Gallery’s world class collection. For more information visit:

Applications close at 5.00pm on on Saturday 1 December 2018.

British Museum New Partnership Touring Exhibition – First Cities and the Frontiers of Empire

The British Museum are looking for partners to host a new partnership touring exhibition, First cities and the frontiers of Empire. If you are interested, please complete the Expression of Interest form and return to Eleanor Chant by Friday 4 May 2018. 

Cultural Partnerships Toolkit from South East Museum Development Programme

This document collates useful tools that have been tried and tested through the work of the Cultural Partnerships Officer role within the South East Museum Development Programme between 2012 and 2018. Supported by Arts Council England through Museum Development funding in its 2012-15 and 2015-18 programmes, this role has championed cross-cultural collaborative working and supported the significant change this requires.

The toolkit is primarily designed for use by a museum employee, volunteer or trustee, in pursuit of collaborative work relevant to the museum’s strategic priorities. The toolkit can also be used by Museum Development teams, consultants or anyone else who is working in a facilitating role to enable partnership working in the museums sector or between museums and other organisations.

It is arranged in two sections:

  • Tools – these are frameworks or templates, with suggestions for use. You could think of these as culinary ingredients.
  • Event format ideas – these are suggestions of how a museum might bring some of the tools together into an event or workshop to achieve particular aims. You could think of these as being like recipes.

At the end of the document you will find links to other toolkits and resources that we hope you may find of value in your partnership work.

To download the toolkit please click here.

The Victoria and Albert Museum Photography Curators’ Training Programme


Art photography collections are held at regional museums, libraries and archives across the country but often without specialist curatorial expertise and, subsequently, many photography collections tend to be ‘dormant’ and inaccessible to experts and audiences, and curators responsible for photography collections do not have access to the necessary staffing and financial resources, or knowledge and specialist skills to actively develop their collections.

Building on the success of a two year programme, the Art Fund has agreed to support a third year of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s programme to help support the development of curatorial expertise in art photography, working with regional museum partners.

Programme Aims

  • To provide an unparalleled practical training opportunity in photographs curatorship in the UK to build expertise in the field and, specifically, to equip a curator with specialist knowledge of photography and the ability to care for and develop photograph collections;
  • To enable UK organisations to raise the public profile of their permanent collections of photographs and to improve public access, both physically and intellectually;

The Programme

The V&A will work with a regional partner, chosen by open competition. The successful partner will have a permanent collection of art photography and be able to identify a discrete project for the assistant curator to deliver which will benefit the collection, the organisation and its audiences. It is likely that the successful partner will not currently have staff expertise in art photography. This project will result in material outcomes for the regional partner which could include, but are not limited to, an exhibition, a refocus of the collecting policy, a publication or cataloguing of the collection.

The project may, if wished, be related to a specific theme, for example, processes and techniques, British industry, British colonialism, Protest, Childhood, or Landscape. Tangible outcomes will be agreed with the chosen partner at the outset of the project, including a requirement for at least one seminar to be held towards the end of the placement to share good practice learnt in the context of the particular project.

The V&A and the selected partner will work together to support the aims of the programme and will be required to enter into a contract regarding the delivery of the project, including confirmation of the organisation’s capacity to support the assistant curator, by providing a nominated support manager for the post-holder, normally a senior curator and agreeing a regular reporting process.

The partner will contribute or source project costs for the participant’s placement project, working with the partner’s photographs collection, using the small contribution from the project budget (£3,000) as seed money.

Once the partner is selected and project agreed, an assistant curator will be recruited. Participants will spend approximately six months in the Photographs section of the Word and Image Department at the V&A, with a V&A curator as mentor and six months at the partner museum working on the agreed project.

The V&A will support the post-holder in developing their curatorial skills through work with the V&A photography collection and via participation in relevant V&A training modules. The V&A mentor will assist the participant in defining and developing their placement museum project and provide mentoring support over the six months they deliver the project at the partner museum.

The Art Fund will provide the V&A with funding to employ the assistant curator for the duration of the project on a 12 month fixed term contract each and travel expenses to enable the post-holder to work between the V&A and the regional partner. There will also be attendance at relevant conferences and visits to other important photographic collections.


Partner selection
Deadline for museums applications: 20 April 2018
Panel meet to select regional partners: w/c 23 April 2018

Assistant curator selection
Advertisements: w/c 7 May 2018
Deadline for applications: 31 May 2018

Interview panel for assistant curator (regional partner to attend): early June 2018

Based at the V&A: July – December 2018
Based at the regional partner: January-June 2019

Call for Partner Application Form

Should you have any questions, please contact Julia Brettell, National Programmes Manager –



Working Locally, Thinking Globally

2018 Working Internationally Conference
7th March 2018

The 6th Working Internationally Conference ‘Working Locally, Thinking Globally’ considers how museums can respond to the new international context in light of recent world events, while maintaining relevance for both domestic and international audiences.

Delegates will hear from Rob Stein, Vice President of the American Alliance of Museums, and keynote and international speakers to be confirmed shortly.

The day includes a flash-session on funding and support available for internationally focused initiatives.  A panel discussion with colleagues from Imperial War Museums, Manchester Museum, Edinburgh Airport and the V&A explores how they are adapting their organisations’ activity in response to the new political and social environment by exploring conflict, climate change, new patterns of tourism and digital reproduction.

There are plenty of opportunities for questions to speakers and for networking with delegates over lunch and refreshments.

To view the conference programme and book your tickets visit:

Tickets are £45 for ICOM UK and NMDC members and £75 for non-members.  There are a limited number of student tickets at £25.

Edinburgh is accessible by public transport from many parts of the UK.  Travel is cheaper if booked in advance.  You can search for the best travel options on the following sites:

For delegates who will be in Edinburgh early on Wed 7 March, ICOM UK is hosting a special roundtable breakfast before the conference.  ICOM National Committees are running a series of roundtables across the world to explore the future of museums and how museums and societies intertwine and impact each other.  This is your opportunity to contribute to the international discussion around the definition of museums in the 21st century.


Export Opportunity: History Museum Partnership Sought by Museum Based in Chengdu, China

Deadline: Thursday 1st March

A museum wants to partner with a history museum in the UK.

You must:

– have a focus on prehistoric cultures. 

– be interested in co-hosting temporary exhibitions across China and the UK

The exhibition to be hosted in China is expected to:

– be themed around the classical civilisations of an ancient region, excluding Maya, Egypt and Rome 

– available for exhibiting from 2020 onwards.

The museum hosts a series of imported exhibitions that explore ancient history.

Each exhibition explores the span of an ancient civilisation.

It has worked with museums in Italy, Canada, and France.

More details on this opportunity can be found here.

WomensWork100 at the First World War Centenary Partnership

In Spring 2018 the First World War Centenary Partnership, led by IWM, will present WomensWork100. This international programme of exhibitions, events, activities, creative responses, personal stories and digital resources will recognise and celebrate the working lives of women during the First World War and beyond showing how women, often unknowingly, pressed for progress in their working lives, against the backdrop of the struggle for female suffrage.

We want organisations to take part in #WomensWork100. As well as offering a unique set of digital resources, we will run a vibrant digital campaign and present Partnership events across the country, from 6 February 2018 to International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018.

If you have stories to share of the working lives of women in the First World War, we want to hear from you. Organisations can register online to get involved, and tell us about your WomensWork100 connection. The Centenary Partnership team will be in touch with you shortly.

WomensWork100 is open to members of the First World War Centenary Partnership – find out more at:

If you have any questions, please email the Partnership team on

Museum University Partnerships Initiative (MUPI)

Call for Participation

A project associated with the Museum University Partnerships Initiative (MUPI) is being conducted to support a preliminary investigation into the possibility of a website to link museums with researchers. To do this, the views of academics and museum staff are needed to form the basis of the work.

Such a site would allow museums to promote their lesser known collections or objects to researchers whilst also enabling researchers to seek specific items or information from museums, particularly smaller regional establishments.

The survey is available here and should only take a couple of minutes to fill in.

Focus groups are being held to discuss the subject further in York and Leeds in the week beginning 4 December, if you would be interested in attending please contact Kate Stephenson at

The World Cycling Revival Seeks Museum Partners To Celebrate 200 Years Of The Bicycle

The World Cycling Revival, a new festival of cycling, its glamour and its history, will be taking place in June 2018 at the Herne Hill Velodrome in London. The event will be a high-end heritage sporting, music and lifestyle festival celebrating 200 years of the bicycle and the organisers are working in partnership with the National Cycle Museum. They are now looking for other independent museums and collections to work with to create world-class exhibitions at the first event next year. More news can be found on the AIM website.