The Digital Museum

Museum digital strategists look to roll out volunteer engagement programme nationally

hanfdsBuilding on an extensive digital museum training programme in the South West and a pilot volunteer engagement programme, a museum-specialist digital company are looking to roll-out a national Volunteer Makers Engagement Training and Support Programme.

Tickbox, based in Bristol, will be building on their Volunteer Makers training and development pilot programme they ran from Jan-April 2016.  This proved demand for their volunteer engagement development model and follows a successful 3-year digital engagement project run for the SW Museum Development Programme where they worked with over 40 museums across the South West to help them create a digital engagement strategy.

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Museums open digital doors for #museumweek

logoMuseums in the UK and across the world have been taking part in the third Twitter Museum Week, with streaming video playing more of a role than ever.

Museums are sharing information and content on Twitter, Periscope and Vine using the hashtag #museumsweek along with different theme hashtags for each day of the week.

This year video is playing a part particularly with the rise on Twitter-owned streaming app Periscope. The Museum of Modern Art in New York streamed a private, behind-the-scenes tour and lecture on their Jackson Pollock collection, while the UK’s National Gallery has run a series of videos featuring their curators talking about their work and the British Museum streamed film of life at the museum usually out of the public eye – including how they keep their glass roof clean!

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Suited and re-booted: crowdfunding helping museums reach for the moon

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A small step for the Smithsonian – a giant leap for museum fundraising!

Well, the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum’s Kickstarter campaign to preserve Neil Armstrong’s space suit might not be as era-defining as the events of 20th July 1969, but it does show how digital crowdsourcing is helping museums make big strides in utilising the resources - financial or otherwise - of supporters.

The Smithsonian set up its Kickstarter campaign on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing to raise $500,000 to help conserve Armstrong’s suit and keep it on display at the museum. It passed its fundraising target less than a week later – and still has three weeks to run.

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SW museums invited to share and learn digital experience

Museums from across the South West are being invited to join others at a forum in Bristol on 26th March to mark 3 successful years of the SW Museum Digital Engagement Project.

You’ll have the opportunity to meet project participants to hear about their digital engagement successes, share tips and learn about how to overcome the challenges of staying engaged with your audience and putting collections online.

We’ll also be looking for Digital Champions – museums who have taken the next step with their digital engagement to make  a real difference, and who can share their experience with others.

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Google App helps museums go mobile

Google have launched a new Digital Museum platform that allows museums to create simple, shareable mobile apps to tell their stories online.

The app, from the Google Cultural Institute  makes use of Google’s existing platforms such as YouTube and Street View to let museums showcase their collections and share their experience through video and online storytelling.

The app allows users to share content -so visitors who have been inspired by what they find in your museum can easily tell their friends about it and share their experience.

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Digital Museum workshops go West at American Museum

The world is now digital.  The way we communicate has changed irrevocably.  Your museum’s audience will expect to get a sense of your museum through your digital presence across multi-platforms. 

This is not as complicated as it sounds, it merely needs you to replicate what you do so well at your museum with digital tools, encouraging interactions and conversations as naturally as you see around you during the day to day.   It can’t merely be done by one centralised group of people, it has to be a organisation-wide effort, built up over time and by making many small steps together.

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V&A launches postcard app

musuempostLondon’s Victoria and Albert Museum has launched an app that allows visitors to send physical postcards using their mobile phones.

Users can create a postcard using images from the V&A’s Art and Design collection – or their own pictures taken on their smartphones – add a message and address and then send a physical version of the card anywhere via Royal Mail.

The app also allows them to find images of objects from the collection they are visiting, or even “selfies” of themselves standing next to an object in the museum.

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WW1 Online – 5 digital museum projects around the Great War

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Image: Adam Jacobs: 1885 bei der Armee. From www.europeana1914-1918.eu

Museums across the UK have launched projects to mark the centenary of WW1. We look at 5 examples of museums using online platforms to connect with their audience and deliver the digital museum experience around the Great War anniversary.

1: The Imperial War Museum: Lives of the First World War

We looked at this project in an earlier blog post, and it’s still one of the most impressive uses of digital research and sharing out there. Users are invited to add to the growing archive of information on servicemen and women who served overseas during the conflict. It’s a great mix of official archive material and human stories, with an emphasis on user-generated content

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Blogging Ideas Worth Fighting For: Guest Blog

Unlocking IdeasGuest Blog: Catherine Robins of Unlocking Ideas Worth Fighting For on how blogging helps put their museums’ vision into action

“We don’t believe in digital for its own sake, but as an enabler for your vision of your museum – taking the work that goes on in all areas of your museum out to a bigger and more included audience”  The Digital Museum ‘About’ page

Unlocking Ideas Worth Fighting For is a collaborative project between Manchester’s People’s History Museum and Salford’s Working Class Movement Library, both of which collect and interpret the history of people’s fight for rights, as well as more general British political history.

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Sound and vision – multimedia art online

baxterWas alerted by Ruth Hendry of Digital Museum Blog in New Zealand to a very smart bit of digital marketing being used by Arts Te Papa to run alongside their art exhibitions.

The gallery has posted digital versions of its collections online, but enhanced the experience by adding video and – rather neatly – Spotify playlists of music specially selected to go with the collections. The musical themes are selected by musicians to complement the visuals.

It’s a really clever use of multi-media and allows the user to have a very immersive online experience, and a very different one to simply viewing the images online. It’s a great example of using digital platforms to add something extra to the visitor’s experience – and of making the digital museum an attraction in its own right.

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