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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Opportunity: Developing an Audience Engagement Toolkit
A 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: email@example.com
Opportunity: West Prince's Street Community Heritage Map
You 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opportunity: Yardworks Studio - SWG3
Yardworks 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: email@example.com
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
Tue, 10 May 2022 17:25:00 BST
When Sha Nazir, was working in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum he realised that effective storytelling can be an useful tool to help people learn. Since those initial observations, Sha has established Glasgow Comic Con and graphic novel press, BHP.
Tue, 10 May 2022 15:36:00 BST
Archiving the sounds of the UK poses some challenges. Although the British Library collects recordings, it doesn’t have the benefit of a legal deposit process akin to that associated with print publications; there is no legal requirement for artists to submit copies of their recordings to the British Library.
Tue, 10 May 2022 14:15:00 BST
The National Library of Scotland has a strategic goal to digitise one third of their collections in time for their centenary in 2025. Alison Stevenson, Associate Director for Collections and Research explains some of the challenges this ambitious goal presents NLS with.
Mon, 02 May 2022 10:40:00 BST
ISODESIGN is a Glasgow-based design media and software studio. They develop, design, and create large-scale, location-based installations. Though they began life producing graphics for television, over 80% of their projects are now for clients within the cultural heritage sector. A growing hunger for innovation hunger led to the creation of isoLABS which has a focus on purely on R&D.
Mon, 25 Apr 2022 22:13:00 BST
Providing access to the collection is a key concern for National Museums Scotland and doing so digitally is one of their strategic priorities. The global pandemic helped to place further emphasis on the importance of considering how different audiences might interact with collections, especially as Covid-19 forced museums and galleries to temporarily close their doors.
Tue, 26 Apr 2022 14:07:00 BST
For VisitScotland, digital cultural heritage represents an opportunity to engage with wider audiences and inspire them with what Scotland has to offer. The global pandemic brought about new challenges for VisitScotland and the wider tourism sector, especially during the first phase of lockdowns when travel was prohibited.
Mon, 14 Mar 2022 14:41:00 GMT
Digital heritage plays an increasingly important role in the work of the National Trust for Scotland. Michael Terwey, Head of Heritage Services and Consultancy for NTS explains more about the challenges this has posed and the opportunities it has opened up.
Mon, 21 Feb 2022 10:37:00 GMT
University museums occupy a unique place within their communities, representing a conduit for engagement by providing the expertise and a space in which collaborations between academic and non-academic partners can flourish to great effect. Over the last decade, the museum sector has experienced a dramatic development in digital technology. The global pandemic emphasised the value of digitisation and having an online presence.
Thu, 10 Feb 2022 13:59:00 GMT
Individually, digital technology and comics are sources of great potential, but when combined, they become an exciting force to be reckoned with. From working with museums, creating online resources to supplement exhibitions to creating educational resources for Education Scotland, Prof Grove embraces the benefits of Digital Cultural Heritage.
Mon, 07 Feb 2022 10:23:00 GMT
Though the pandemic created some challenges, such as preventing physical visits and connections to the Antonine Wall and its local communities, it has also led to new and exciting opportunities. By offering resources such as images, animations, and 3D visualisations online, those stories can be accessed by, and tied to international contemporary audiences and their perspectives.
Wed, 02 Feb 2022 12:05:00 GMT
Collaboration, particularly with partners outside of the university, allowed the DiNAR project to produce impactful and engaging results which really worked. ‘Viking VR’ and ‘Within the Walls of York Gaol’, both investigated the practices of design, creation and use of interactive and immersive media in museums and heritage organisations.
Mon, 31 Jan 2022 14:12:00 GMT
Historian Dr Steven Reid describes how a painting (‘The Abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots’) went on to inspire an RSE funded project, from which online resources, a MOOC and an exhibition have been developed. Collaboration across a network of partners was at the core of this activity.
Mon, 24 Jan 2022 13:29:00 GMT
Due to the proliferation of new technology, there is a new generation that thinks in new and unique ways. According to philosopher Michel Serres, we need to teach them differently. To do this, we need to understand how they experience the world, and what they may lose and gain through their digital interactions.
Mon, 10 Jan 2022 10:06:00 GMT
Professor Maria Economou shares her experience of engaging multiple museums & galleries, universities, and commercial organisations, to use storytelling as a way for visitors to heritage sites to connect more effectively with the past.