MCG Spring Meeting, 19 May 2009, Roman Baths and Pump Room, Bath

Taking the cultural heritage of the city of Bath as its centre point, our spring meeting will this year explore the challenges of using digital media within iconic historic sites and subjects.

Led by the city’s heritage team, but with contributions from the National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the University of Bath we will look at the ways digital media is being used within historic buildings, in managing historic collections and in communicating this history online.

And, as ever for our meetings, the day will offer a number of ‘databursts’ for members to update each other through 5-minute ‘mini presentations’.

The main sessions of the day will take place in Aix en Provence Room at the Guildhall
and will conclude with a tour and walking discussion with staff around the Roman Baths, Museum and Pump Room.


Registration and coffee

Ross Parry (MCG Chair)
Stephen Clews (Manager of the Roman Baths & Pump Room and Heritage Services Public Services Team Leader)
A welcome and introduction to Bath’s digital heritage offer.

Susan Fox (Collections Manager) and Helen Daniels (Collections Assistant, Victoria Art Gallery) Roman Baths, Museum and Pump Room Heritage Services.
The collections team will share their approaches to placing collections online, as well as using a range of interpretive media (projections, CGIs, audio guides, touchscreens) within city’s museum and heritage sites.

11.30-11.45 Coffee

Helen Harmon (Collections Assistant, Roman Baths Museum & Pump Room) and Katie Smith (Visitor Services Manager, Heritage Services, Bath & North East Somerset Council) and Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus, UKOLN)
The discussion will then frankly and constructively focus upon some of the challenges and obstacles (practical, technical, political) that confront the Heritage Services team as they continue with their roll-out of digital content and provision. Then, by way of a practical and supportive response to all of the morning’s presentations, UKOLN (the Bath-based research organisation that informs practice in the area of information systems and web technologies) will then reflect upon the challenges described, and offer a way of thinking about a ‘risks and opportunities framework’ for Bath and for digital heritage more generally.

1.00-1.45 Buffet lunch (Brunswick Room, Guildhall)


Michaela Rogers (Web Marketing and Development and Manager) and Tim Powell (Press Officer – New Audiences) Historic Royal Palaces
The HRP will share the detail and aims of their new Web 2.0 strategy, and explain the role that online media play in the positioning and public provision of their iconic historic sites.

John Benfield, Head of New Media, Royal Shakespeare Company.
Turning to another historical icon, this presentation will provide an insight into how the RSC is using (and planning to us) digital media to interpret, communicate and disseminate the heritage of Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Felicity Baber and Simon Harris (National Trust)
The National Trust has always had inventories for the chattels or collections held at its properties. In recent years the Collections Management Project has been happening all over the country, to capture electronic records and digital images of every item in the care of the National Trust, working across staffed and tenanted properties. The project is required to provide the means to determine the scope of the Collection owned by the National Trust as a whole, and thereby manage and protect our collection more effectively. This presentation will examine the challenges involved with photographing and cataloguing collections in room settings, sometimes in properties where people actually live in the rooms.

4.00-4.15 Tea

Brief tour and walking discussion around the Baths and Pump Rooms led by Roman Baths, Museum and Pump Room staff.

5.00 End of meeting