Museums and digital memory: from creation and curation to digital preservation
Free conference and debate at the British Museum
Monday 3rd September 2018
The British Museum’s National Programmes team and the Digital Preservation Coalition invite you to contribute towards a day of workshops, discussion and debate on the subject of digital content in museums.
They want to explore best practice in how we as a sector create, curate and preserve digital content – not just the exciting outward-facing side of digital technology in museums, but the often overlooked back-of-house digital preservation work that is essential to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of these efforts.
Central to the day is the question: if museums are memory institutions, how do we ensure that we maintain access to the digital memory that we’re creating now for our future audiences?
Museums, galleries, theatres and heritage organisations will be given access to cutting-edge technology and digital skills training to help them reach new and diverse audiences, DCMS Secretary of State Matt Hancock announced today.
The move is part of the Culture is Digital report, which sets out an ambitious framework for how culture and technology can work together to increase participation and boost the capability of cultural organisations.
It is the first time that the Government has looked at how the two sectors can work together to unleash the creative potential of technology and help bring every cultural organisation – both big and small – into the digital age.
The report makes a number of commitments, including:
- Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund will invest more than £2 million to build the digital capacity of their sectors
- The National Gallery will create an Innovation Lab to examine how museums and cultural organisations can use immersive media, such as virtual and augmented reality, to enhance visitors’ experiences
- The Royal Opera House will create an Audience Lab, which will work with diverse talent to create content using emerging technologies and develop cross-sector collaborations
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:
“Our cultural output has always been our unique calling card to the rest of the world and when combined with the latest digital developments there is no limit to our creativity.
“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to trial pioneering technology, while also maintaining our world leading status as a centre of artistic and cultural excellence.
“Our Culture Is Digital report sets out how culture and technology can collaborate, learn from one another and keep innovating. By embracing new technologies and attracting more diverse audiences, we will continue to cement our status as a creative powerhouse in the digital age.”
The Culture is Digital report showcases innovative projects in the creative sector, highlighting the extraordinary collaborations between our world-leading cultural and digital pioneers.
It was launched at the National Gallery showcasing some of the finest recent examples of digital culture, including cutting-edge immersive installations using the latest technology.
The #CultureisDigital project was informed by an online open conversation last year
and was borne out of the Government’s Culture White Paper commitment to review the digitisation of our public collections and enhance the online cultural experience.
It also builds upon the Government’s UK Digital Strategy commitment to increase digital skills, digital participation and unlock the power of data.
Dr Gabriele Finaldi, National Gallery Director, said:
“The National Gallery is committed to an ambitious five-year programme of digital change. This goes from evolving our approach to ticketing through the use of big data, to launching new mobile services, to embedding innovation in immersive media in the Gallery through our forthcoming Lab. We are excited by today’s launch of the Culture is Digital report. The commitment it marks from DCMS, the Arts Council and cultural organisations across the country to digital transformation heralds an exciting new period for us all.”
Royal Opera House Chief Executive Alex Beard said:
“When culture and technology come together, great things can happen. The Royal Opera House is exploring immersive technology to open up a suite of new experiences, sharing the extraordinary qualities of ballet and opera with audiences old and new in our digital age. This report acts as a useful framework for all in our sectors to explore this territory.”
Arts Council England will also create and pilot the use of a Digital Maturity Index for the cultural sector, to help organisations improve their digital capability.
ACE will also work with the Heritage Lottery Fund to form a Digital Culture Code – a set of guidelines and principles which cultural organisations will be encouraged to sign up to help increase their digital skills.
Arts Council England Chief Executive Darren Henley said:
“Every day across England, artists, performers, museums, libraries and arts organisations create brilliant new content. We want to make sure they have the skills to use the best technology to enable more people in more places to connect directly to this deep well of creativity.”
Heritage Lottery Fund Chief Executive Ros Kerslake said:
“We welcome this timely report from DCMS. As we have set out in our current consultation on future funding, HLF is committed to supporting digital capacity in the heritage sector, building on the considerable progress that has already been made. We look forward to working with Arts Council England and other partners in making our collective aspirations for digital culture a reality.”
You can follow #CultureIsDigital on social media and explore our interactive 360 degree presentation that allows users to learn about case studies and other key aspects of the report.
Thursday 8th February
Birmingham Museum, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH
10:00 – 13:30 (NB Museum doors open at 10:00 and the tour is expected to start at 10:15)
This morning visit will include a store tour, a talk about the museum’s use of new technologies and systems, including the use of 2/3D photography and VR systems, the possibilities of new media and the best practice in use at Birmingham Museum. The visit and tour will be led by David Rowan, Museum Photographer at the Birmingham Museums Trust.
Join PCN to book your ticket: Membership costs £25 per year (£20 concessions), and the event ticket costs £5. To book or for further information about this tour and talk, and the Photographic Collections Network, click here or for enquiries contact Maura McKee, PCN Coordinator at email@example.com
The PCN builds and shares knowledge of the UK’s photo archives and collections, and is funded by ACE and Art Fund. Follow them on Twitter @ukpcn.
Do you want to achieve greater social purpose through your digital work?
Culture24, in partnership with the Happy Museum Project, 64 Million Artists and Battersea Arts Centre, is seeking between 10 and 20 museums, galleries or heritage organisations to work collaboratively to understand and create digital social purpose.
Culture24’s Let’s Get Real 6 project (LGR6) runs from January to October 2018 and is the latest in our series of groundbreaking collaborative action research projects.
The project will help you to develop a digital experiment, boost your personal confidence, embed positive change across your organisation and influence sector knowledge. You will benefit from Culture24’s substantial experience of helping the cultural sector deal with digital change and have access to the expertise of our project partners – all of whom have been exploring cultural social purpose in their work.
The project is collaboratively funded by the participating organisations and the cost to sign up ranges from £1,450 to £2,950 (plus VAT) depending on your organisation’s size. We are also offering two subsidised places of only £150 each for very small organisations who would not otherwise be able to afford to participate, but who can make an invaluable contribution.
Join the project and you will:
– Attend four full-day workshops hosted at Battersea Arts Centre in January, March, May and July 2018. We are inviting two members of staff from each organisation to participate in the project (if possible) and attend workshops
– Hear from from expert speakers, facilitators and mentors
– Run practical research experiments within your own organisations, supported by regular expert mentoring sessions
– Be part of a supportive community of peers learning together
– Have a say in developing key project findings that influence the wider sector.
Register your interest
To register your interest, please complete this short form by Friday 8thDecember 2017. We will follow up with a phone conversation to ensure the project meets your needs and answer any questions.
Meanwhile, if you want to discuss the project contact Sejul Malde on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download a PDF with the all the information detailed here in this Call for Registration document.
Read about why we think this is an important area for museums in this blog post by our Research Manager Sejul Malde.
Who is LGR6 for?
LGR6 is for any museum/heritage professional interested in developing strategic and practical approaches to digital social purpose and in embedding this work across their organisation.
It will be of particular interest to:
– Learning professionals who are keen to build social relevance for children and young people by understanding and responding to changing interests and behaviours as informed by digital culture
– Digital professionals who want to advocate for a broader application of museum digital practice across their organisations and the wider sector
– Community engagement professionals who want to build more participatory relationships with their communities and use these relationships to inform wider museum strategy and practice
– Leadership and development professionals
– Any museum professional who fulfils all or some of these roles.
We have framed the project to relate to museums, galleries or heritage organisations as we believe that ideas around digital social purpose can challenge the knowledge, expertise and values inside these organisations. However if you work for another type of cultural organisation, within or outside the UK, and feel the themes apply to you, we would love to hear from you.
We have found that previous LGR projects work just as well for small, medium or larger organisations. Lots can be learned from collaborations across different types of expertise, working practices, contexts, leadership and approaches to change and risk.
What will I gain by participating?
Develop the confidence, understanding and digital literacy of your staff. For the first time we are inviting two members of staff from each organisation to participate and attend all four workshops (if this is possible). This will increase the learning across the project and improve the impact on each organisation. Individual participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from peers and to develop the confidence, language and digital literacies necessary to become agents for change within their own organisations.
Learn from a supportive, engaged community of peers with a shared sense of purpose. The LGR6 community will act as a source of invaluable knowledge, advice and support for you and your organisation. It will also provide a space to compare and contrast experiences and to learn from top experts.
Effect and embed positive organisational change You will be supported to reflect on your organisation’s current practices, design small scale experiments to develop your learning, and explore practical opportunities to embed this learning back into your organisation in order to effect positive long-term organisational change.
In particular your organisation will benefit from positive change in the following areas:
* Strategy – You will be supported to developing your strategic thinking around your social purpose and the role that digital practice can have right across your organisation
* Work with communities – You will be more informed in your participatory work with relevant communities. In particular you will learn ways to build meaningful relationships with these communities and co-develop ideas and projects together
* Internal collaboration – You will learn practical ways to break down internal working ‘silos’ so that people from across your organisation can collaborate more effectively
* Working practices – You will have time and space to experiment with different tools and tactics in a supported environment that can improve your organisation’s working practices.
Develop strategic influence within the wider arts and heritage sector and with academics, policy makers and funders Your organisation’s experience on the project will be vital in informing collaborative research findings and will be used to inform best practice across the sector. Culture24 has established trusted relationships with a broad range of cultural stakeholders, both in the UK and internationally. We will publish the project’s key findings in a final report to be shared and discussed with funders, policymakers, strategic sector bodies and academia. Your organisation’s expertise and experience on the project will have an influence on these discussions.
What will LGR6 focus on?
LGR6 wants to understand digital social purpose for museums. The specific question we are focussing on is: How can museums use digital culture, content and technologies to foster active citizenship for and with their communities?
This explores the overlaps between recent work and discussions that reflects on museums’ purpose in a changing society, particularly the evolving nature of their civic role, and the significant work being undertaken by museums to adopt strong strategic digital practices.
These two areas of focus explore how museums need to change in response to an evolving environment. Yet both appear to be taking place separately, with different groups of professionals responding to separate agendas within museums. We believe there is much that connects these two areas, particularly as the very nature of society is changing because of digital culture. Other sectors are urgently exploring the role of digital technology for social good and LGR6 will consider how museums can begin to understand and forge new connections to help support their work. Read more about about why we feel this is a vital area for all museums to explore, our thinking behind the project and how we came up with the question here.
How will LGR6 be structured and who will be involved?
The project is structured around established Let’s Get Real objectives and methodologies – to nurture personal confidence, build organisational capacity and develop a shared understanding for the sector. It does this by promoting learning from others, learning by doing and learning together. You can read more about the Let’s Get Real approach here.
The project structure includes:
* Four full day collaborative workshops
* Four supported research phases taking place between workshops in your own organisations
* Virtual mentoring sessions with appropriate experts from Culture24, Happy Museum Project, 64 Million Artists and selected individuals from inside and outside the sector
* Ongoing online collaboration across the peer group via Basecamp
What does it cost?
LGR6 is based on a collaborative funding model where each participating organisation contributes towards the overall cost of the project. This model represents significant value for money for each participating organisation due to the high cost of accessing expert advice, the huge value derived from shared learning across the project cohort and the practical approaches to embedding long term organisational change.
National or Major Regional Museums (as definied as members of NMDC), or Large organisations – total income from all sources in the last reported financial year is greater than £1 Million – £2,950
Medium organisations – total income from all sources in the last reported financial year of between £250,000 and £1 Million – £2,450
Small organisations – total income from all sources in the last reported financial year of under £250,000) – £1,450
Two subsidised places – £150 each – Culture24 recognise that many museums are very small and either have a total income of less than £10,000 or have no more than 5 full time paid staff. We feel it’s important that this project is accessible to these museums. As such, we are offering two subsidised places to qualifying museums for a contribution that is affordable. The criteria to qualify is: your total income from all sources in the last reported financial year was under £10,000, OR, you have no more than 5 full time paid staff. If we receive more than 2 applications for these subsidised places we will decide based on the reasons why you think the project will benefit your organisation.
This is the first time we have used a sliding scale for participants, but we believe it is the fairest way to encourage a cross-section of participating organisations including smaller ones. Culture24 is a charity and the budget for this project is based on cost recovery.
Discount for any Happy Museum Project Affiliate organisations
As this project is being developed in partnership with the Happy Museum Project and Culture24 is part of its Affiliate programme, we are offering a 10% discount for any fellow Affiliate organisations.
What is included in the cost?
* Hosting of the four workshops, including lunch and refreshments
* Management of the project
* Support for all aspects of the research including data gathering and analysis
* Co-ordination of the group’s shared communication channel through Basecamp
* Cost of bringing in external experts at workshops to present their thinking, provide strategic advice and facilitate workshop sessions as appropriate
* Cost of all workshop materials
* Cost of a mentor to work with you on your individual action research
* Analysis and sharing of insights and data from the research
* The writing and production of a final project report for publication and advocacy
* A sector facing project report launch event
* An end of project celebratory social event
What is not included in the cost?
* The cost of travel and accommodation to the workshops
* The cost of your staff time
* Any internal or external costs needed to support your own research experiments.
How do I register my interest?
If are interested in registering your interest please complete this short formby Friday 8th December 2017. We will then follow up with a phone conversation to ensure the project meets your needs and answer any questions you might have. Meanwhile if you have any questions contact Sejul Malde on email@example.com or 01273 523989.
MINIM is now the largest national resource about musical instruments in public collections and includes photographs, video and sound recordings and information about over 20,000 instruments in 200 collections in the UK.
Discover musical instruments from our national museums such as the British Museum, V&A and Science Museum as well as over 4,000 instruments making their online debut thanks to a team of tireless cataloguers who have travelled the UK digitising as they go. For real enthusiasts, find up-to-date lists and navigable maps of UK Museums with musical instruments in their collections.
The project was generously supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in 2015 and has been led by the Royal College of Music in partnership with Edinburgh University, the Horniman Museum and Gardens and the Royal Academy of Music, supported by Google Arts and Culture.
Find out more here.
The platform is built using open-source technology and we would be glad to share resources or experience with anyone who is interested in finding out more. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the University of York:
We are delighted to announce the launch of the ‘National Zooarchaeological Reference Resource’ (NZRR), a specimen-level search portal for vertebrate skeletal collections in the UK. If you’ve ever found yourself desperately emailing colleagues to find that elusive specimen of chamois, burbot, etc., then this may be the solution.
Funded by a grant from Historic England, the NZRR so far includes data from 10 university zooarchaeology labs, 5 museums, one charitable trust, one private collection, and Historic England’s own zooarchaeology lab. We are expecting to add several additional collections in the near future, and welcome further submissions.
The resource is hosted by the Archaeology Data Service and is now live here.
Please take a look, try out some queries, and let us know what you think. Comments on the search interface are particularly welcome: we’re still working on this and already have a list of improvements in the pipeline.
Thursday 30th November – Friday 1st December 2017
From the Conference Team:
“Researching Digital Cultural Heritage” is a 2-day international conference in Manchester (30/11 – 1/12 2017), jointly organised by the University of Manchester and Newcastle University. The conference proposes a critical examination of established and emerging theoretical, methodological and analytical frameworks in researching cultural heritage spaces, objects, audiences and practices in the digital realm. This includes both the impact that digital media have in developing new research methodologies and frameworks of analysis of cultural heritage; and the practice of researching digitally mediated or digitally constituted heritage objects, spaces and interactions and the environments in which this research takes place.
We invite proposals for 20min presentations that focus and critically reflect on theoretical, methodological, ethical, or analytical approaches in researching cultural heritage in the digital realm. Indicative themes include:
– Current and emerging research design, methodologies, methods and tools in researching cultural heritage in the digital realm (e.g. digital ethnography, social network analysis, visual analysis, sentiment analysis, text mining, big data, data visualisation, digital archives, web and social media analytics)
– Digitally enabled collaborative, participatory and reflexive approaches in cultural heritage design, research and practice
– Ethical considerations and processes in researching digital cultural heritage
– Researching digital materiality in cultural heritage
– Researching social media and digital games as cultural heritage
– Researching audiences in digital cultural heritage environments
– Researching organisational strategies, structures, processes and workforce in digital cultural heritage
– Digital/online cultural heritage spaces as research environments
Please find the full Call for Papers and proposal template on the conference’s webpage:www.manchester.ac.uk/digitalheritageconference
Deadline for Proposals: Friday 21st July 2017
Monday 26th June 2017
The British Museum
11:00 – 15:00
You are invited to a workshop at the British Museum designed to better understand the priorities for the sector around digital preservation practices.
The workshop will contribute to research being conducted in the development a HLF Skills for the Future programme: The Digital Heritage Discovery that if successful will invest in a new generation of diverse museum professionals to equip them with a dynamic understanding of digital data management, preservation and access practices relating to museum collections.
27 trainees, based in museums across the UK, will form a proactive network through which essential digital skills, tools and workflows are developed and shared between trainees, host museums and the wider sector. Trainees will tackle key challenges of digital management, from securing at-risk legacy data to maximising the value of digital assets such as photographs. Positive action recruitment will seek to appoint trainees who demonstrate a natural digital talent and benefit the diversity profiles of their host museum. After a year of on-the-job training, trainees will be able to harness essential skills and act as champions in the sector, placing digital best practice at the heart of all areas of museum work.
If you are able to attend, please contact Maria Bojanowska, Head of National Programmes on email@example.com by Monday 19th June. If you would like to attend but do not have the funds to travel, please mention this in your reply.
Partnership Event from the Oxford University Museums Partnership and the Digital Learning Network
Museums and cultural organisations play a key role in the formal learning environment, offering engaging, ‘beyond the classroom’ learning experiences for primary, secondary FE and HE students.
Increasingly museums are utilising digital tools to facilitate these formal learning experiences both to respond to an increasingly digital learning environment and enhance the learning experience. Digital is now a key component of wider learning strategies.
This one day conference will be devoted to digital learning in museums, with a particular focus on ‘formal learning’. The day aims to share insights and lessons from current work happening across he sector, but also discuss bigger questions around the role of digital in terms of learning strategies and sustainability.
For the full programme and details on how to book click here.
The first ever VR experience has been launched on Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust’s Kelham Island Museum website – the open stores and Engineer’s workshop area of the museum have been meticulously scanned and recreated in a digital immersive space.
Allowing you to virtually walk around areas of the museum that are ordinarily inaccessible to visitors, it is intended to show more objects from the museum’s vast collection.
Requiring nothing more than a simple cardboard headset and modern smartphone, the downloadable experience is compatible with most Android and Apple phones and Samsung Gear VR headsets.
Whilst VR mode is a first for the museum, it’s not the only medium with which to explore the immersive experience. It can also be accessed in 2D mode on computer, laptop and smartphones.
Find out more at: