Category: Research

Mapping Museums Web Application Evaluation Sessions

Can you help to evaluate the Mapping Museums web application?

Mapping Museums is a large scale research project that is based at Birkbeck, London. It aims at documenting an analysing the development of the museum sector between 1960 and 2020. So far, the team has collected a rich range of data on approximately 4000 UK museums, and we have developed a web application that enables users to browse, search, and visualise that information.

The evaluation session is an important means for them to gain feedback about the usefulness of the web application. With your input they can further improve the system before it is made publicly available.

The trial session will be based on three activities:

  • A hands-on introduction to the web application.
  • Using the application to undertake a small number of information searches. This will allow them to gauge how easy the system is to use.
  • Group discussion about your experience of using the system and the ways that it could be improved and extended.

The session will take no more than two hours.

There is more information about the project available here.

Locations and dates:

2-4pm June 15th, Room 404, Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX (the entrance is on Torrington Square)

2-4pm June 21st, Room 4.2, Roscoe Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PY.

If you would like to participate, please email the project director at briefly explaining why you would like to attend. We can cover travel expenses of up to £20.

Researchers involved in the trial session

Researchers and contact details:

  1. Professor Fiona Candlin (
  2. Professor Alex Poulovassilis (
  3. Nick Larsson (

How the data will be handled in the study

Information obtained from you through the session will be used to inform the research work of the project and subsequent research publications. All personal data collected from this study including your name and contact details will be kept confidential. No reference will be made in oral or written form that could link any participant to information they have provided to us as part of this the study.

Your participation in this study is voluntary, and you may withdraw from the study at any time.


Museum of Them and Us Research Events

Do you want to take part or help with this research? Anyone with experience of working or volunteering in museums is welcome to participate. All focus groups and interviews are confidential.

Take part in a focus group: Sam Evans is arranging focus group discussions, face to face of between four to eight people. These will ask you about your work, and what matters in getting in and on. If you have worked in museums, volunteered, or are trying to get in, you can take part. Dates arranged so far (all 2018) are as follows.

Thursday April 5th 18.00 to 19.30, Birkbeck Main Building, Room MAL 420, Malet Street, WC1E 7HZ

Wednesday April 11th  18.30 to 20.00 Birkbeck Main Building, Room MAL 420, Malet Street, WC1E 7HZ.

Thursday, April 26th  18.00 to 19.30, Museums Association Offices, 42 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AZ

Friday, May 18th, 14.30 to 16.00 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3DH 

Wednesday, May 23rd 18.00 to 19.30, Museums Association Offices, 42 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AZ

Thursday, June 7th 16.00 to 17.30, Whitworth Gallery, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER

Thursday, June 14th  17.30 to 19.00, M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN

Take part in an interview: If you think social class has mattered to you personally in your work or career then you can take in part in an individual interview, by email, Skype or face to face (depending on your location).

If you are interested in finding out more contact me below, or at

Culture24 news round up

Museum Lates and the night-time economy: new research published
Culture24 have just released three research reports into the impact of after-hours in cultural and heritage organisations on the night-time economy and cultural tourism, relevant for museums keen to attract new visitors and generate income through creative programming.

The reports are free to download here:

Event registration deadlines for Museums at Night, 16-19 May 2018
Museums, galleries and heritage sites across the UK are warmly invited to take part in the Museums at Night festival – Now’s the time to register events in Culture24’s database: the first deadline is Friday 23 February for the chance to appear in long lead press releases, and the final deadline is Friday 20 April for short lead press releases.

Here’s how to register festival events:


BSHS Engagement Fellowships

The British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) is delighted to announce the second iteration of a scheme to support small and local museums, archives, galleries and libraries whose collections connect to themes in the history of science, technology, engineering and medicine. This scheme will fund the placement of Master’s or PhD students with heritage organisations and museums for the equivalent of a month’s work (timescales can be arranged between the partner museum and student) as an Engagement Fellow and contribute £1000 towards the costs of public engagement outputs related to the research undertaken. Examples could include:

  • Updating displays and content
  • Blog posts
  • Museum trails
  • Informal learning sheets
  • Events for schools, families or adults

The BSHS are in a position to fund two placements a year to support the ambitions of museum and archives to deliver engaging histories and stories to their visitors. This scheme requires the heritage partner to provide training and mentorship for the appointed student during the placement. The student will develop valuable skills and experiences while producing outputs of high research quality.

The BSHS welcomes proposals for collaboration from museums and heritage organisations based in the UK. If you are interested please follow this link to fill out an expression of interest form –

Freelance Opportunity: Sefton Library Service

Beyond the War Memorials – the stories behind the men listed on Sefton’s Civic War Memorials.

Freelance Researcher – £4250 + VAT – total fee including all travel costs and expenses

This is a Fixed Term Opportunity for a 4month period, completed over 17 days’ work delivered flexibly as required.

We are looking for an enthusiastic freelance researcher  who has the skills, experience and enthusiasm to undertake a piece of research on Sefton’s Civic War memorials.

You will research and write the history of the 11 civic war memorials in Sefton with a view to this being published on a website.

Working with volunteers and schools, you will find the stories behind the names on the war memorials including personal stories before the war, military records, manner and time of death. Where available, you will collate photographs and addresses of the fallen.

You will run a series of educational sessions with schools about the research being undertaken.

You will create a training plan to equip volunteers with the skills and knowledge to support the research with children.

Working with a web designer, you will support the collation of information and development of a website and digital map

Previous experience and knowledge of researching First World War records is desirable.

Closing Date: 12 noon, 06 Oct 2017

For the research brief please click here.

To request background information, make project enquiries and to submit your application please contact:

Dave Ewing – Senior Development Manager, Information and Heritage, Sefton Library Service, C/O Crosby Library Crosby Road North, Waterloo. L22 0LQ 0151 934 4890

Job Opportunity: Public Programmes Project Manager – Communities and Partnerships, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Closing Date : 28/02/2017
Employment Type : Fixed Term
Duration : From 3 April 2017 until 2 April 2020
Hours Per week : Full time
Salary : £31,076 to £33,943 per annum

Are you experienced in working with local communities? Are you committed to ensuring all voices are heard within decision-making?

We are looking for an exceptional and confident communicator to join our growing team as we embark upon a new 5 year programme of work to engage and involve people with health and biomedical research. You will build long term relationships with people who do not currently get involved with research, including hard-to-reach and marginalised groups. You will work with communities across Greater Manchester to engage them in our work, ensure their voices are heard and encouraging further engagement within their networks.

We are looking for a committed and resilient team player, who is driven to deliver exemplary and innovative work to benefit people and research. Excellent organisational and project management skills are essential.

Interview date: 13 March 2017

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status.  All appointments are made on merit.

For further details, go to

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:
Name: Leah Holmes, Director of Public Programmes
Tel: 0161 276 6614

Coins, Museums and the Norman Conquest

Research Participants Required

Have you got half an hour to help with a research project?

Anja Rohde at the University of Nottingham is investigating the coins of William the Conqueror and his successor William Rufus. She is looking at what the coins reveal about life in England at the time of the Norman Conquest, and at how museums can use their collections to tell those stories.

She needs people to read some of the stories and then fill in an online questionnaire to tell her what they thought. 

Participants will be entered into a prize draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher.

If you are interested in being involved, please email: for more information or check out her Twitter feed @anja_coin_geek.

To find out more about anja’s work visit:

Egyptology Researcher Opportunity: The Atkinson

The Atkinson’s new museum space provides, for the first time, modern display spaces with high security and environmental controls, and displays The Goodison collection of Egyptology for the first time in nearly half a century.

The collection provides unique insights to the civilisations of Ancient Egypt, but reveals much about Victorian England, presenting another strand of the history of the industrial revolution. In the 1880s Egypt was of the moment; interest in Ancient Egypt was fashionable and affordable,  it was the thing for wealthy industrialists to invest in and give themselves cultural standing. It was relatively little known, and excavated material may have been more affordable at a time when classical antiquities were out of reach. It reflected a preoccupation with individual improvement; and tracing the roots of civilisation. An important narrative is the story about 19th century women as sponsors, patrons, travellers, explorers and archaeologists, without whom we would not have such remarkable collections.

The Atkinson are looking for a freelance researcher to help develop their “A Victorian Woman in Egypt – The 1887 Collecting Trip of Mrs Goodison and Rev Greville Chester” exhibition.

The exhibition will explore what it was like for Mrs Goodison to make her first visit to Egypt in 1887.  It will explore travel and tourism in Egypt during the late 19th century; raise issues of the market and ethics of buying Ancient Egyptian artefacts at this time; it will also put Mrs Goodison and her collections in the broader context, not only of the other important Victorian female Egyptologists, but of other important Ancient Egyptian collections held by museums in Britain.

The freelance researcher will help The Atkinson develop this exhibition by:

  •  Researching and developing a Loan List of key Ancient Egyptian items acquired by Rev Chester (ideally in or around this period) from collections including the Fitzwilliam, Ashmolean, British Museum, National Museums Liverpool and Manchester Museum, consulting with key experts and curators, making research visits, developing loan requests and meeting deadlines for these loan 
  • Researching and developing a Loan List of key items from the Thomas Cook Archives and Science Museum Group photo library, negotiating image rights, developing loan requests and meeting deadlines for these loan requests.
  • Researching and developing a Loan List of key items from the collections of Bolton Museum, West Park Museum, Macclesfield, and Towneley Hall, Burnley and possibly the Petrie Museum, University College, London.
  • Supporting The Atkinson’s Curatorial team to develop an exhibition interpretation strategy, that will inform panels, labels, website and other content
  • Supporting The Atkinson’s Learning team to develop a dynamic and wide-ranging public engagement programme to run alongside this exhibition.
  • Supporting The Atkinson’s Marketing and Audience Development team to develop media and public interest in the exhibition.
  • Supporting The Atkinson’s Director in fundraising and income generation for this exhibition.

The successful applicant will have specialist knowledge of Egyptology and of working with collections.  They should also be fascinated by the history of collectors, museum collections and collecting as well as museum objects. They will have or be working towards a post-graduate qualification in Egyptology or a closely related subject area. They will also be highly self-motivated, organised and a fantastic communicator, who can work effectively as a member of a team.

The contract will start as soon as possible and run for approximately 6 months with an available budget of £6000 + VAT; including travel costs and expenses.

To Apply, please send or email your CV, plus a covering letter (up to 2 pages) setting out your experience, suitability and interest for the role, the names and addresses of two contactable referees; to:
Stephen Whittle,
Principal Manager,
Museum, Galleries & Operations,
The Atkinson,
Lord Street,

Applications must be received by noon on 25th April 2016. Late applications cannot be considered, as The Atkinson will be shortlisting and notifying candidates on the same day.

Share Academy Research and Opportunity to Promote Museum Activities on Research Blog

Share Academy would like to invite museum professionals to share there experiences of working with universities and higher education colleges. If you have had students or researchers using your collection, they would love to hear from you.

Share Academy are currently editing a blog for a research project n partnership with the National Coordinating Centre For Public Engagement. This project will look at partnerships between higher education institutions and museums, as part of this they are inviting museums, and universities to share there experiences with Share Academy, as well as peers and anyone who may be interested.

If you have a case study or an opinion piece you would like Share Academy to publish, please send them to Katie Dent at Share Academy  Pieces should ideally be between 500 and 1000 words.


WIRP International Travel Grant Scheme

Details of the WIRP International Travel Grant Scheme are now available on the ICOM UK website. The scheme is offering a small number of travel grants to support non-national museums in England to work internationally.

The travel grants will enable recipients to undertake an international research visit in 2016 to museums and/or organisations abroad who they would otherwise not be able to meet with face-to-face. The intention is to support non-national museums who are starting to develop international contacts and/or projects, and who are exploring their potential to work internationally in a particular part of the world. Priority will be given to museums whose staff have not previously undertaken international travel as part of their work.

The total budget available for the travel grants is £12,000. Applications will be considered for grants of up to £2,000 per organisation or consortium.

The application form with eligibility and guidance notes can be downloaded from the ICOM UK website.

Applications open: Thursday 15th October 2015

Deadline for applications: 12:00 on Friday 30th October 2015

Successful applicants notified: w/c 16th November 2015

For any questions about the scheme, contact Dana Andrew, Project Co-ordinator,

WIRP Workshops

A series of one-day workshops will take place across England between September 2015 and January 2017 for regional and local museums and galleries who are embarking on international work, or interested in finding out more about it.

Focussing on a particular theme or topic, the WIRP Workshops will enhance the skills, knowledge, and confidence of participants to develop international work, and provide information and advice on how to do so.

Relevant case studies will be presented alongside facilitated group work, and participants will have an opportunity to network with colleagues and speakers.

The following WIRP Workshops are now open for booking:

International Touring Exhibitions & Loans – Tuesday 22 September 2015, MShed, Bristol

Working with China – Wednesday 14 October 2015, York Castle Museum

Working with India – Monday 9 November 2015, Imperial War Museum, London

The fee for each workshop is £35 with a discounted fee of £25 for small organisations with less than 20,000 visitors per year.  The fee includes refreshments, lunch, and a delegate pack.

Places are limited so early booking through Eventbrite is advised.