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Monday, 26 October 2015, Stevenson Lecture Theatre, British Museum, Great Russell Street
WC1B 3DG London





Mia Ridge, Chair, Museums Computer Group, and Chris Michaels, Head of Digital Media and Publishing, British Museum



Chair: Shelley Mannion, British Museum

  • Cassie Williams, Royal InstituteBuilding an audience on YouTube – lessons learned from managing the Royal  Institute’s channel

Sharing your content where your audience is has many benefits, but to make a success of it you need to embrace the norms of the platform and develop a content strategy that both meets the expectation of your new-found audiences, and fits your organisational vision and capacity. Cassie shares her experiences of growing the Royal Institution’s YouTube channel, sharing lessons on navigating the space between audience desires and organisational voice.

  • Alison Clague, Leicestershire County CouncilClick; Connect; Curate; Create

As digital occupies an increasingly central role in museum activity, organisations face the challenge of bridging the gap between their existing knowledge and capacity and their aspirations for utilising digital to enhance audience engagement with the collections. Alison shares some of the learning from the Click; Connect; Curate; Create project which aimed to identify the best tools and technology for enhancing digital access for Leicestershire County Council.

  • Scott Billings and Ted Koterwas, Oxford University MuseumsHidden Museum: utilising digital to connect collections, content and people

The proliferation of mobile devices offers museums new opportunities to deliver ‘hidden’ content – bridging the space between the collection on display, knowledge about the collections held by the museums, and members of the public. The challenge for museums is to ensure that we use these notoriously ‘heads down’ devices to deliver ‘heads up’ engagement with the collections on display. Scott and Ted share insights from a series of recent projects across Oxford University Museums.




Provocations Collage

12.00-12.40    PROVOCATIONS

Chair: Andrew Lewis, V&A

  • Richard Light (Independent), “Museums: the home of unlinked data”
  • Andrew Richardson (University of Sunderland), “The Gap as a Creative Space: Reflections of a Creative Technologist? Artist? Designer?”
  • Russell Dornan (Wellcome Collection), “Don’t cross the streams! How we broke all the rules with #MuseumInstaSwap”
  • Mark Pajak (Bristol Museums), “Trials and tribulations of digital signage at Bristol Museums Galleries and Archives”
  • Katherine Biggs (Historic Royal Palaces), “Pop-up palaces to create connections. How can you build connections with audiences too far away to visit your sites? Take your sites to them of course!”


john-coburn-photo-for-UKMW1512.40-14.00    LUNCH

You can join special tours of the Museum on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. We’ve allowed lots of time for you to explore the museum, or chat to old and new friends.

12.40-13.10    MCG AGM

MCG Members are encouraged to attend the AGM at the start of the lunch session.


14.00-14.30 KEYNOTE – John Coburn, Digital Programmes Manager, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

Finding space for the experiment: digital collaboration and their influence on the museum

John is Digital Programmes Manager at Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums with a responsibility for digital projects that explore the role and public value of museums and their collections. John has worked in the cultural heritage sector for over 10 years managing a range of innovative projects that have engaged audiences and inspired communities from the wider arts and technology world to reuse collections and re-imagine the museum experience.



Chair: Anra Kennedy, Culture24

  • Kathleen McIlvenna, Institute of Historic Research and Raphael Chanay, Natural History MuseumPutting People at the Centre of Collaboration: MuseomixUK case study

Initiatives like MuseomixUK encourage collaboration across sector boundaries and between digital and non-digital experts. A melting pot for new ideas and prototypes, the main impact of events like this is the human experience, allowing participants to develop new skills, challenge traditional ways of thinking and increase in confidence. Kathleen will share insights from MuseumixUK 2014 at Derby Silk Mill.

  • Fiona Talbott and Karen Brookfield, Heritage Lottery FundAre heritage organisations embracing digital? The state of digital technology in Heritage Lottery Funded projects

Based on recent research into how heritage organisations are using digital media to promote access, Fiona will explore both how digital ambitions are being achieved within HLF funded projects, and how they are targeting their outputs for audiences. Fiona aims to challenge what we mean by quality digital output and what are perceived as the organisational barriers to creating them


15.20-15.50    REFRESHMENT BREAK



Chair: Bridget McKenzie, Flow Associates

  • Juno Rae, British MuseumNew digital learning initiatives for family and teen visitors at the British Museum

As part of the digital learning programme at the British Museum, the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre provides digital experiences for family and teen visitors to enhance their exploration, engagement with and response to the collection. In her talk Juno will share how they identify gaps in their provision, and how they try to build digital initiatives from elsewhere in the museum into the programme.

  • Rebecca Sinker, Natasha Bonnelame and Camille Gajewski, TateTate, Khan Academy and the Pathways to Digital Learning

With the arrival of Google Analytics, cultural heritage organisations have a significant amount of data available to them to help them understand their online audiences, but how can they make sense of that data and use it to understand the digital learner, their pathways and motivations? This talk will share insights from a partnership between Tate and the Khan Academy to tackle this challenge.

  • Gail Boyle FSA, Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives – Revealing ‘The Hidden Museum’

Gail will share lessons learned from a recently completed Digital R&D Fund for the Arts collaborative research project which created and tested a mobile application for family and group visitors that made use of iBeacons. A key concern the Bristol project team hoped to address was that such applications often promote more interaction with the mobile device itself rather than direct engagement with each other, the museum or collections.


16.50-17.30    CLOSING RESPONSES

Given our theme this year, we’re trying something more participatory than a closing keynote. Invited respondents will give their impressions of the day’s papers, followed by an invitation for attendees to share their questions and comments on ‘bridging gaps and making connections’.

Our invited respondents are Gillian Greaves (Arts Council England), Joseph Padfield (The National Gallery), Kim Plowright (@mildlydiverting) and Ben Templeton (Preloaded) – and you!


All welcome to discuss the day over a drink at the White Hart, 191 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5QD. Further details



  • Scott Billings, Oxford University Museum of Natural History  @sbeebee

Scott Billings works as public engagement officer at the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. He has trained in museum education, co-curated exhibitions, been a design and cultural heritage journalist, and a freelance copywriter.

Natasha is currently the Project Manager for the Tate-Khan partnership project. She has worked on a number of digital learning projects including the National Theatre’s digital Black Plays Archive, She undertook her PhD at the Centre for Caribbean Studies, Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.

  • Gail Boyle FSA, Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives  @boyle123g

As well as being Senior Curator (Archaeology) for BMGA, Gail has worked on a variety of complex audience-focused programmes, exhibitions and displays and has been a museum professional for over 30 years. During this time she played a leading role in the delivery of M Shed, Bristol’s newest museum, has championed the use of new technologies and been at the forefront of several innovative projects which have  promoted the collaborative use of museum collections in new and exciting ways.

Karen Brookfield is Deputy Director (Strategy) at the Heritage Lottery Fund, where she directs HLF’s strategy, research and advocacy in a range of heritage areas and cross-cutting themes, including public engagement and use of digital technology. Karen is also the Director of HLF’s First World War Centenary programmes. Karen previously held a number of posts at the British Library, including Head of Public Programmes.

Alison Clague has worked in the museum sector for over 15 years, in a number of roles, from front of house to curatorial and project management roles, for Warwickshire Museums, National Museums Liverpool and Leicestershire Museums. She enjoy working with communities to make their heritage accessible and engaging. As Senior Curator at Leicestershire County Council, Alison is passionate about providing context and interpretation about our collections, as well as putting Leicestershire’s collections on the map. The Click; Connect; Curate; Create project explored new ways of doing this.

John is Digital Programmes Manager at Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums with a responsibility for digital projects that explore the role and public value of museums and their collections. John has worked in the cultural heritage sector for over 10 years managing a range of innovative projects that have engaged audiences and inspired communities from the wider arts and technology world to reuse collections and re-imagine the museum experience.

Camille is currently Content Writer and Community Manager at Tate, where she writes and develops content for a Tate-branded learning platform on Khan Academy and manages its community of active learners. In previous roles her work has focused on market analysis for the education and cultural sectors, digital content production, and educational consulting. Her academic training is in art history.

  • Theodore Koterwas, IT Services, University of Oxford  @mobileox

Ted Koterwas leads Web and Mobile Applications development in IT Services at the University of Oxford. He’s worked creatively with technology since before phones had cameras, including directing the New Media exhibit development team at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

  • Kathleen McIlvenna, Institute of Historic Research  @kathleenmcil

Kathleen has an active interest in public history, she has worked for a number of museums and is part of the organising committee for MuseomixUK and Open Community Lab, projects that look at digital and alternative ways of engaging audiences with museums and collections. Kathleen is also a 19th century historian and is currently completing her PhD at the Institute of Historical Research in collaboration with the British Postal Museum and Archive and funded by the AHRC.

Juno is Education Manager: Samsung Digital Learning Programme at the British Museum. She manages the development and delivery of digital learning sessions and workshops for school and family audiences, incorporating advanced technologies including augmented reality, 3D printing and virtual reality. Juno worked previously as Digital Learning Programme Coordinator at the Museum of London.

  • Rebecca Sinker, Tate @tate

Rebecca is Convenor for Digital Learning at Tate, managing strategic digital learning practice and research. A researcher and practitioner in the field since Mosaic was the browser of choice, she has continued to examine the affordances of technology for learning through and about art, since her PhD at Middlesex University (2007).

  • Fiona Talbott, Heritage Lottery Fund  @Fitalbott

Fiona Talbott has worked in the heritage and culture sectors for thirty years since her first position at the Hancock Museum (now the Great North Museum) in Newcastle. She is presently Head of Museums, Libraries and Archives at the Heritage Lottery Fund where she is responsible for strategic development and policy in the three sectors. She also holds responsibility for the National Heritage Memorial Fund grant stream. She spent ten years working in museum development agencies, and then from 2001 until 2004 as the first Director of the London Museums Agency. Her recent career included working as a consultant on a number of heritage and regeneration projects and from 2005 to 2008 she was Head of Museum and Culture at the London Borough of Hackney.

Cassie Williams is Digital Manager at the Royal Institution where, amongst other things, she oversees the Ri Channel video programme. Cassie has over ten years’ experience in digital and content management for the heritage, cultural and not-for-profit sector, and has previously worked at the Science Museum and the V&A.