Digital Cultural Heritage

The Arts & Humanities Partnership Catalyst for Digital Cultural Heritage seeks to understand the challenges but also the opportunities in this complex, multidisciplinary field. By connecting researchers, practitioners, and professionals from across the private, public, and third sectors, it will identify key organisational and curatorial challenges—What to prioritise in the digitisation process? How best to preserve digital assets? What stories to tell? How to ensure equitable capacity and capability?—the objectives to address them, and the projects to meet them. This will facilitate the development of more sustainable partnerships and collaboration that can support cross-sectoral needs.

Opportunities available to the Catalyst network members are show below. How might you contribute to and benefit from the growing number of Catalyst projects under development?

Explore the blog posts below to discover the research, insights and challenges facing the ever-evolving landscape of Digital Cultural Heritage.

To get in touch about the Digital Cultural Heritage Catalyst or any of the content you find here, please email


Opportunity: Developing an Audience Engagement Toolkit

Brand image of IndigoA common thread across the Catalyst process has been your collective desire to better understand your audiences. Who are your audiences, what do they want, and how might this inform your engagement strategy? How might we work together to establish best practice across the arts, cultural, and heritage sectors in the area of audience collaboration? And by pooling our knowledge, insights, and needs, can we develop an innovative tool that not only allows us to better engage with our audiences, but also share our experiences and findings in its use?

With this in mind, we met with Indigo, an award-winning audience consultancy, who are excited by the opportunity to work with the network towards the co-creation of an audience engagement tool or toolkit. Examples of Indigo’s recent work include:

  • Act Green – on audience attitudes to sustainability
  • The Self-Service Venue – on audience attitudes to self-service tech in cultural venues
  • UK Heritage Pulse – a collaborative data and insight project for the UK heritage sector informing post-Covid strategy, recovery, and reinvention
  • Arts Marketing in 2023 – an event on audience loyalty for Spektrix
  • Co-Create – a collaborative and cost-effective way to commission research

So… what’s next?

Our next Catalyst event, to be co-hosted by Indigo [and network partners ISO Design], will form the foundations for a project that will develop and deploy an audience engagement toolkit.

To allow us to gauge interest and levels of participation for this project, please get in touch by emailing:

Opportunity: West Prince's Street Community Heritage Map

Image of blue plaque for Post Card Records West Princes StreetYou may recall that at the DCH Catalyst 1C event, Dr Zoe Strachan, Reader in Creative Writing, Arts Lab Civic Engagement Lead, and Woodlands resident, highlighted a forthcoming project that will focus on the Woodlands Community in Glasgow―with West Prince’s Street at its heart―as a way of documenting hidden and diverse histories of small parcels of land. How might thriving local communities such as Woodlands tell and preserve their stories? And how might digital approaches support this?

This project speaks to several needs identified during the design-led Catalyst process. Not only does it seek to cement community cohesion, encourage community engagement with local heritage, and uncover the cultural history of Woodlands, but it also presents an exciting opportunity to establish proof of concept for a model that might be deployed by―and empower― communities within and beyond Scotland. The project will consider how the diverse histories, memories, artefacts, and stories of a local area might be captured and packaged, and how local residents might participate in its creation.

So… what’s next?

A network event to be held in the Woodlands Community meeting space will be established to begin project planning. Further details will be circulated shortly. To allow us to gauge interest and levels of participation for this project, please get in touch by emailing:

Opportunity: Yardworks Studio - SWG3

Image of the Yardworks exhibitionYardworks Studio is Scotland’s first purpose-built home for street arts and the centre of a new street arts district linking Partick, Yorkhill, and Govan. The hundreds of artists that use the space have created upwards of 30,000 digital assets of their work―their art is, therefore, already digitised―but what to do with this impressive collection of content? How might they maximise its enormous potential, ensure its accessibility, and reach wider audiences, but with only limited resources?

What are the benefits that digital collections might enjoy? Can we explore online virtual models for hybrid exhibitions? How might we manage creative assets and unlock the value within. These are just a few of the research questions we hope to unpack in the scope of this opportunity.

From the perspective of the DCH Catalyst network, the Yardworks project constitutes a critical test bed and case study that is of particular relevance to smaller or under-resourced organisations. With Scotland home to hundreds of local heritage bodies, groups, and venues, how might they be assisted or supported to maximise the value of, and engagement with, their content? What frameworks are needed to help, what resources can we utilise, and how might an output be scaleable?

So… what’s next?

We will have an initial project planning meeting, hosted by Yardworks at SWG3. To allow us to gauge interest and levels of participation for this project, please get in touch by emailing:


Output: Surfacing the national collections through images

We are delighted to announce that the ‘Surfacing the national collections through images’ project, a collaboration between the University of Glasgow and National Museums Scotland that was funded by the Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund, is now complete.

Dr Cassandra Kist, Research Assistant for the project, previously updated us on its development at a Catalyst event in March. The project emerged from early-stage discussions during Catalyst sessions.

Many congratulations to Cassy, Professor Maria Economou, Chanté St Claire Inglis, and the NMS Data and Digitisation Team for completing this important work.

The final report and frameworks for applying metadata to images are now publicly available for download here. Please feel free to circulate!

If you have time to share your feedback on the final report and framework, the project team would be very grateful. You can leave feedback anonymously here.

Digital Cultural Heritage Blog