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DEN Meeting 6

Digital Engagement Network Meeting 6

Thursday 13th September 2012, 1pm to 4pm

The Collection, Lincoln.



Andrea Martin Lincolnshire Museums
Wendy Freer Ashby De La Zouch Museum
Kerem Cetindamar Leicester City Arts and Museums
Rebecca Wombell The Harley Gallery
Rachel Harrison The Workhouse, Southwell
Lynsey Woods The Workhouse, Southwell
Martha Lawrence Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
Caroline Moore Digital Access Development Officer



Jodie Henshaw Mansfield Museum
Deb Skinner Nottingham Trent University
Steve Le Mottee EMMS
Emma Hancock Limestone Journeys
Hannah Tideswell Creswell Crags
Bryony Robins Newark and Sherwood District Council
Zara Matthews Market Harborough Museum
Roger Shelley Derby Museum and Art Gallery
Claire Cooper Leicester City Arts and Museums
Cal Warren Nottingham City Museums & Galleries
Louise Lowth Nottingham City Museums & Galleries
Mike Beech Foxton Canal Museum
Alison Hughes Leeds Museums
David Amos MuBu Miner
Ruth Buttery Sharpe’s Pottery Museum
Ros Westwood Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
Sophie Newland-Pratt Sudbury Hall and National Museum of Childhood, National Trust
Madeline Coburn Participation in Action

Welcome and introductions:

Caroline welcomed everyone.

Digital project presentations:

  • Andrea Martin, Lincolnshire Museums

Lincs to the Past is a database of Lincolnshire museum, archive and library collections. You can browse by subject and use the timeline function. The museums also use Twitter and Facebook. A DEN funded project called ‘Stories of Steam and Oil’ is available on the website. Jim Grevette worked with industrial volunteers at Museum Of Lincolnshire Life, videos were taken and poetry was written by Joel Stickley, Lincolnshire poet laureate. 15 one minute films were created, each telling a different story. QR codes have been placed on objects used in the project. The data from Lincs to the Past is linked to the Culture Grid.

The service has been working with Radio Lincolnshire to create oral histories on memories such as St Marks Railway Station in Lincoln. These histories will be linked to the website. Objects have also been used to evoke memories with radio listeners.

Digital techniques learnt from Stories of Steam and Oil were used to create a lasting legacy for a project in the form of a video evaluation. The museum service is working with Media Archive Central England and the Lincolnshire Film Archive. The Collection is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. This means the use of digital technology is important. Talks are placed online using Vimeo. There is a new website called Opem 2. An artist can upload their own work on to the site. Another project culminated in a time lapse film created by an artist.

As a direct result of MuBu and later DEN funding Lincolnshire museum service have been able to create exciting digital projects.

  • Kerem Cetindamar, Leicester City Arts and Museums

Ipad use at Leicester Museums.

The museum has twelve ipads bought for different projects. It has been difficult to manage use of the ipads with local authority IT and projects have relied upon extra work by the Digital Access Officer. A web company called Cuttlefish created a digital trail of The Dinosaur Gallery: Exploring Lost Worlds . The trail is available in the gallery and uses software from the Empedia website. There are also audio pieces including an interview with David Attenborough. If you click on the image of an object you get images and text. The ipads are used by groups in the gallery and have not been loaned out to individuals due to security concerns. Empedia is a collection of online maps, audio tours, video and interactive guides available via the website and an iphone app .

From Kampala to Leicester:
The Story of Leicester’s Ugandan Asian Community, 1972 – 2012

Due to the large amount of information collected from the communities that took part in the exhibition it was decided to use an ipad and ‘gallery app’ to show some of the photos and documents that were collected. The ipads were placed near the cases displaying the objects and were locked so visitors could nott move away to another site. Wall mounted cases were bought from The ipads were put in the gallery near cases of important objects. ipads cost about £400 each and a case costs £150 each. The museum service plan to buy more to work with the community.

In response to Kerem’s talk Rebecca Wombell from Harley Gallery sent a link:  The link provides instructions for using the new accessibility function on the iPad to turn it into a kiosk.

  • Wendy Freer, Ashby De La Zouch Museum

Wendy Freer demonstrated the RNIB penfriend audio devices that they use at Ashby museum. The devices are used by blind and visually impaired users at M shed in Bristol and at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. The museum has covered up the record and other buttons as the device can also be used as an mp3 player. Labels are placed in coin cases so they do not wear out.

The recordings were made with a digital camcorder. The device can be plugged into a computer with a usb cable to download and manage files. At the museum there are English labels and several French labels. There are also four ghost voices. 24 cartoons have labels recorded by school children. You touch the label with the audio device to listen to a recording and press again to stop listening. The audio devices cost £54 each.  People do stay in the gallery longer when using the devices.

Ashby Museum film unit began in 2010 and was started with MuBu money. They have now created 71 films. The museum has created a film on the archaeology dig at St. Helens Church that will be shown at the museum on evening 22nd November. Please call the museum if you would like to attend 01530 560090. Ashby Museum has their Photo archive on line:

Future proof update:

  • Learn with Museums

Alison Hughes – LWM and My learning.

Work is continuing to migrate content from Learn with Museums over to My Learning. Learn with Museums has now been archived and redirects are in place to direct site users to My Learning. Please make sure any links from your own websites now link through to My Learning. There is a set of three web badges that you can use to promote your resources.

In the last 12 months My Learning has set up a Teachers Panel – a collection of six teachers from different age groups and subject specialisms. The panel review all content and make suggestions on how usability can be improved for teachers and learners. The panel has been really useful in helping the team to better understand what teachers want to find in a learning resource and they have applied the changes to all reviewed resources. The teachers are now reviewing all new content before it goes live – including resources from Learn with Museums. If you have any questions about your content please get in touch! Email or follow us on twitter @mylearning_org

The My Learning team have just launched their new Content Submission Portal, which is a new and simpler way for contributors to submit new content to My Learning. You can now use the portal to send the relevant files for your new resources, and the team will then create your resource for you. If you’re interested in creating new content for My Learning, again please get in touch. Email If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter go to

The next DEN training day is about e-Learning. It is on Thursday 6th December at Lincolnshire Archives. The day will cover how to signpost to online learning content from your venue, how to evaluate your online resources and how to add content to My Learning using the new upload system. If you are interested in a place book here.

  • DEN Website

Please visit the website if you haven’t already and blog about your digital projects past and/or present. Ashby Museum are still blogging with the site. DEN projects have created case studies covering; filmmaking, oral history, poetry, digital archives, research, reminiscence, images, story sacks, audio trails, objects taking on a social media life, digital art and music. There are 48 projects on the website including a support section with tips on how to blog, use twitter, flickr, facebook, you tube and links to some digital resources available online.

  • Future of DEN

There will be two more DEN meetings at:

  • Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, 5th December
  • New Walk Museum, Leicester, 31st January 2013

The last DEN training day was on Thursday 11th October. Topics included; blogging on DEN, the facebook timeline, twitter engagement strategies, Pinterest and other emerging social networks. Notes from this and other training days can be found in the DEN support area.

There will be two more DEN training days:

  • E-learning, at Lincolnshire Archives, December 6th . The day will cover how to signpost to online learning content from your venue, how to evaluate your online resources and how to add content to My Learning using the new upload system. If you are interested in a place book here.
  • Augmented Reality and QR codes at Ashby Museum on January 24th 2013. We will use these technologies to explore and create free museum, site and/or town tours.

It was suggested that after March 31st 2013 DEN members would like to meet face to face with a self-help style group visiting different museums. The host museum could give a demonstration on a digital project and museums could share progress and ideas.

Round up of projects:

  • The Workhouse, Southwell.

They have submitted an HLF bid for the all our stories pot. They have been doing some work on the Poor law union and have created scripts based on digitised archival material. The scripts are performed by story tellers. The Workhouse has a character on twitter called Sarah Godson that is based on a real person. They are considering using QR codes in the building. A question was raised on how to evaluate the value of QR codes. This will be covered in a DEN training day on 24th January.

  • Martha Lawrence, Buxton Museum.

Buxton Museum currently has an application with HLF called ‘Collections in the Landscape’. ‘The visitor (and the virtual visitor) will be able to download co-ordinates and actually go to an archaeology site; while there, technology will enable recollection of the museum view, and link to additional interpretation, reports, primary archives. There will be access to further resources, like the local natural history, or another artist’s reaction to the place, and associated places to go to. It is not the intention to build a website; currently the suggestion is to develop an App, but ideally we would like to make material available virtually so that you can curate your own visit and explore routes to engage with the museum’s collections, downloading reactions, artworks or research to the artifact file.

Alongside this, we anticipate developing the principle galleries which contain collections of geology, archaeology and cultural history relating principally to the Peak District. This is displayed in the Wonders of the Peak exhibition. Since 1989 when the exhibition won the BBC Natural History Museum of the Year award, there have been several new acquisitions; the potential for partnerships has developed; and there have been advances in research, technology and most importantly, audience expectation, which we need to address.’ Ros Westwood, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.

  • Rebecca Wombell, Harley Gallery.

The gallery has a new website. There is a mini website about knitted nylon jewellery. There are also ‘how to films’ on the website. The gallery have an I pad app. They have had good feedback on twitter use using notepad.

The gallery has a QR code trail on their website. The QR codes are placed near objects and link to page with more information on a separate website.

Dates of future meetings/training:

  • DEN meeting, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, December 5th , 1pm to 4pm
  • DEN training day, My Learning, Lincolnshire Archives, December 6th  , 10am to 3pm
  • DEN Training day, Augmented Reality and QR codes, Ashby Museum, January 24th 2013
  • Den Meeting, New Walk Museum, Leicester, January 31st  2013


  • BBC Building digital capacity for the arts workshop. Making a short film for your website

    This free workshop is designed for museum and arts organisations who want to understand more about the processes involved in making good short factual films for their website. It will focus on the practical aspects of how to get the best from an interview, live performance and vox pops; how to structure a story and ways to put together the material to create an engaging experience for audiences.To find out more and to book your place for this workshop visit the links below: Making a short film for your website, Friday 11 January, Phoenix Theatre, Leicester
  • Digital Project Funding Opportunities.
  • HLF will now accept proposals or projects whose sole or primary purpose is digital engagement.

The resulting content should be made freely available for re-use. HLF launched its new 5-year Strategic Framework titled “A Lasting Difference for Heritage and People”, which commits annual funding of £375m to heritage initiatives. Further information is available from

  • The Digital R&D Fund is a digital research and development fund. It is a collaboration between Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and NESTA.

The fund will support approximately 90 research and development collaborations. Projects will be funded up to a value of £125,000. Museums are encouraged to apply.

The fund (which will run until the end of 2014/15) will support research and development projects that use digital technology to enhance arts audience reach and/or explore new business models. It will focus on six key themes:

    • user-generated content and social media
    • digital distribution and exhibition
    • mobile, location and games
    • data and archives
    • resources
    • education and learning

The process will have two stages: a call for expressions of interest and a final application stage. Expressions of interest will be accepted continuously throughout the first two years of the fund.




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