Call for papers now closed. Keep an eye out for more information soon.

Museums+Tech 2019 will be held at the British Library, London, on 18 October 2019.

MCG’s Museums+Tech 2019: openness

Museums and other cultural organisations have long been encouraged to be more open, in multiple senses of the word. From a technology point of view, this idea often centres on sharing collections data, producing open source software and tools, and developing open standards – all of which could have far-reaching implications for user engagement, future collaborations, and long-term preservation. Looking more broadly, the word ‘openness’ also has more infrastructural implications, as it relates to themes of transparency about decisions and processes, as well as inclusion of a wider visitor community. It’s also important to question this notion of openness – when should organisations be more open, and why might openness not always be desirable? For this year’s conference we are keen to hear a variety of perspectives on what openness means to you and your organisations, with honest reflections on related projects, acknowledging challenges and potential solutions.

How can museums and other cultural organisations be more open in terms of their collections and processes, is openness always desirable, and what barriers might we have to overcome for truly open digital cultural heritage?

The MCG’s Museums+Tech 2019 conference seeks proposals for presentations addressing these issues. It’s time to celebrate good work, and share ideas for helping museums and other cultural institutions do better. We’re open to suggestions, but topics might include:

  • What does openness mean to you, in the context of museums and other cultural organisations?
  • How are organisations opening up their collections to a wider audience?
    • What technological and ethical considerations should be made?
    • Have you been involved in a project to reuse open data from one or more cultural organisations in a creative or innovative way?
  • How can organisations be open and transparent about their processes, both internally and externally?
  • What role can openness play in decolonising collections and engaging with sometimes difficult and dubious organisational histories?
  • Has openness within your organisation led to new projects or partnerships?
  • What impact can openness have on visitor/user engagement?
    • Can openness lead to greater inclusivity and diversity?
  • When should organisations prioritise the use of open technologies or standards, and how can they support our work now and into the future?
  • What are the potential barriers to openness and how might we address them?

The MCG’s annual conference attracts speakers and participants from some of the most innovative museums, agencies and university programmes in the world. We’re keen to hear from practitioners, researchers, funders, and those from related cultural heritage and technology sectors. All submitted papers will be reviewed by experts in the field.

The conference programme will include long and short presentations, and you can suggest a length to suit your topic in the proposal form. Short presentations are a great way for you to share useful ideas that others in the sector can try, or to present a provocation. Longer presentations let you provide a more detailed exploration of a topic or project.

Our audiences love our mixture of old and new voices. We have a great track record in presenting a diverse range of speakers, and we’ve started a profit-sharing scheme in acknowledgement of the resources required to attend and present at events. We can also provide some bursaries for speakers who would benefit from assistance with funds for travel, childcare etc. Please also read our Guidance for Speakers before submitting your proposal. Our events have a code of conduct designed to help everyone enjoy the event.

Proposals deadline

This call for proposals closed on 17 June 2019. Our international Programme Committee will review proposals over the following weeks and you should hear from us in mid-late July. If you have any questions please email us at