Please note that this is an archived event

UKMW14: ‘Museums Beyond the Web’

Friday November 7 2014

The Museums Computer Group’s annual conference was held at the Flett Theatre in the Natural History Museum on Friday November 7 2014. The theme for UKMW14 was ‘Museums Beyond the Web’. The event was sponsored by Faversham & Moss.


Chair’s Welcome (Mia Ridge, MCG), venue welcome (Ivan Teage, Natural History Museum)

Read Mia’s post: All the things I didn’t say in my welcome

Opening Keynote: George Oates

11:20-12:20   Experiences Beyond the Screen

Digital media is escaping even the flat screen of mobile phones. Wearable technology and the new generation of virtual reality offer radically immersive experiences: can these easily become part of the everyday museum experience? Chaired by Martha Henson.

Google Glass at the MIT Museum: a Visitor Experience Study
Marco Mason, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Leicester

The adoption of Google Glass within museums is in its infancy. How can it facilitate visitor engagement? What are the limitations? What are the opportunities? In a partnership sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at the MIT, the MIT Museum collaborated with a Media Lab student to realize and test a Glassware prototype. Both the design issues and the visitor feedback offer the opportunity to reflect on the design of a new kind of  museum experience.

Immersive and Pervasive: Museums in Virtual Reality
Tara Copplestone

How could new technologies such as the Oculus Rift become the core of a digital museum experience? They have the potential to fundamentally alter the way we mediate our interactions with the internet and this paper will explore a handful of the potentials and pitfalls for this new media format.

meSch – Material Encounters with Digital Cultural Heritage
Daniela Petrelli, Sheffield Hallam University

The meSch project aims to bridge the gap between visitors’ cultural heritage experience on-site and on-line by providing a platform for the creation of smart exhibits, with which heritage professionals can compose and realise physical artifacts enriched by digital content without the need for specialised technical knowledge.

12:20-1:30   Lunch

12:20-12:50   AGM 2014

1:30-2:15   Lightning talks

Chaired by Oonagh Murphy, including:

  • It’s time to look up – iBeacons turning the physical world into the new digital channel; Jon Little, Kew
  • Engaging and interactive display of digitised images using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF); Matt McGrattan, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and Sean Martin, Independent
  • Tandi Williams on the thought-provoking results of the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts Survey
  • The Collections Trust’s Nick Poole
  • Google’s Pierre Far on Google’s perspective on mobile-friendly designs

2:15-3:15  Mobile Beyond the Museum

A smart phone can be so much more than an enhanced audioguide. This session takes us out of the gallery, onto the streets and beyond even a mobile signal, with practitioners pushing mobile technology to its limits and delivering new experiences. Chaired by Jessica Suess

Box of Delights
Alex Butterworth, Oxford University Museums

Box of Delights is a prototype iPhone app that delivers an emergent, geo-located narrative premised on the conceit of a mobile phone audio guide usurped by supernatural forces, whose voices are vying to be heard, a rich narrative experience for visitors that draws inspiration from the museums but takes place beyond their walls.

Piloting a mobile collection in the landscape
Anna Rhodes, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and Ben Bedwell, University of Nottingham/Wander Anywhere

How to meet the potential of mobile to take collections out into the world, when you’re a small museums with a limited budget? Buxton Museum share their solution: creating a series of lightweight low-budget pilot mobile tours using WordPress alongside GPS technology, tested directly with the intended user groups.

On Dartmoor nobody can hear you Google
Rick Lawrence, Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM)

In 2013 RAMM worked with the University of Exeter and 1010 media to deliver a mobile museum experience on Dartmoor, where there is often no mobile or data signal. The solution encouraged users to participate using their phone’s built in technologies and then make the most of any signal.

3:15-3:45   Tea and coffee

3:45-4:45   Connections Beyond the Organisation

The most important connections the web makes are the human ones. This session looks at how collaborative digital experiences are created between multiple organisations, how data itself can be better connected, and asks whose purpose digitisation ultimately serves. Chaired by Martin Bazley.

Centenary Connections: connecting stories of the First World War
Rebecca Bartlett, Ammba / Nymbol

Not every museum department is a digital department, but all departments take part in creating digital content. Imperial War Museum North (IWMN) and the Greater Manchester Centenary Partnership have delivered a connected digital experience across multiple organisations, empowering users to track the lives, stories and impact of WWI across Greater Manchester.

Methods for linking real world data
Stephen Brown, De Montfort University

Despite the promise of Linked Data, the majority of GLAM records are still unavailable in this format. This paper describes an alternative approach developed by the AHRC funded FuzzyPhoto project, based on semantic matching techniques and fuzzy logic based algorithms which reflect the kinds of choices made by human decision makers.

Let them speak
Oluwatoyin Sogbesan

Does digitisation in museum represent cultures in their true light or does photographic imaging only portray Western supremacy? This presentation focuses on the need for an inclusive participatory culture that will not only allow openness but also gives voice to the voiceless.

4.45-5.30   Closing Keynote: Dr Ross Parry


UKMW14 photos,  and tweets

Sign up to our event newsletter

Subscribe to our email newsletter and be the first to find out about MCG's annual conference and other events.