Project Mission

‘Digital Programming for Inclusive Historic Museums’ builds networks of expertise between small museums that are thinking in big and influential ways about community participation in museum spaces and how it is facilitated through digitisation of their collections, their interpretation materials and display. ‘Digital Programming for Inclusive Historic Museums’ takes place across three organizations, two in England and one in the United States, all of which are working in historic buildings with local communities. Each institution has foregrounded its community relationships in its daily work, and this project supports these organizations as they explore new initiatives to evolve their digital interactions in this context. The projects will explore how digital activities can extend beyond the usual aims of increasing access, or democratizing knowledge, to embed reciprocity and respect for the physical, cultural and emotional engagement that exists between museums and their audiences.
In one setting, an artist will create an artwork which will allow audience to interact with digital recordings to co-produce a new body of material that explores digital and material space, place and belonging. Another partner is creating an exhibition which maximizes interactions with disabled visitors and enables them to generate new material for the collection through digital recording tools.  In another setting, the project will support the development of content to encourage engagement with the creative and calming properties of a museum garden. Each of these projects will advance our understanding of how digital materials can be used to support caring and respectful relationships between museums and their audiences. These are aspects of digital interactions that are not easy to measure using recognized processes of evaluation such as counting users or ‘likes’ or visits, so the project will also include some work to develop description and evaluation of the digital materials that are produced.

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