DEN Project

DEN Support Blog

Case studies on the DEN site

DEN projects are about generating new audiences through social-networking online. Resources are shared and online engagement is promoted with audiences and collections through Google Maps, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook. DEN projects digitally capture the results of engagement between museums and local communities. DEN projects enable our audiences to interact with collections and re-interpret them for the 21st Century.

DEN projects have covered a variety of topics:

Some projects have now closed and some are still running.


DEN Meeting 8

Digital Engagement Network Meeting 8

Wednesday 30th January 2013, 10am to 12:30pm

New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester



Kerem Cetindamar Leicester Museums
Mike Beech Foxton Canal Museum
Wendy Freer Ashby De La Zouch Museum
Sophie Newland Pratt Sudbury Hall and National Museum of Childhood, National Trust
Rose Hodkinson Sudbury Hall and National Museum of Childhood, National Trust
Caroline Moore Digital Engagement Network
Hannah Boddy Creswell Crags
Helen Chatterton Creswell Crags
Alex Woodall PHD Researcher, School of Museum Studies, Leicester University.



David Amos MuBu Miner
Emma Hancock Creswell Crags
Louise Button-Lowth Nottingham City Museums & Galleries
Zara Matthews Market Harborough Museum
Sophie Newland Pratt Sudbury Hall and National Museum of Childhood, National Trust
Nisha Popat Leicester City Arts and Museums
Lynsey Woods Southwell Workhouse


Welcome and introductions:

Caroline welcomed everyone.

Digital project presentations:

Alex Woodall, Museums, Health and Wellbeing: Nurturing innovation in the East Midlands

Alex is doing some work for the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) in the Museum Studies department at Leicester University. The project is funed by Arts Council England (ACE) and is about Health and Wellbeing in the East Midlands.  There are three strands,

  • One strand is working with the collection and content created for the MuBu funded Players Past project : Nottingham Museums are working with a smoking group and a smoke free group in Nottingham.
  • Kate Travers is working with Woodhall Spa Museum, Kettering Museum and Crich Tramway Village. This part of the project is intergenerational and involves older people and object handling.
  • New Walk Museum and Leicester Children’s Hospital are working together. The topic is mind, body and spirit. The Head teacher at the school would like to build a digital resource/website. They would like to build something that can move around objects and virtually take the objects into the hospital school space as the children cannot leave the hospital. With activities provided that can be done by very ill young people off-site. This website: is popular with the staff of the school. The plan is not to reinvent the wheel as there are lots of things that already exist like this and to use a platform that already exists such as MyLearning. The idea is that this resource will be a pilot that can then be added to nationally and used by other hospital schools. Lots of ideas were shared amongst the group.

Caroline Moore, My Life as an Object

The project ran in 2010 and was funded by MuBu and carried out by Rattle . Each week a different object came to life, it was given a human voice and told its story across different social media platforms. Objects can be difficult to interpret without context and yet in a museum they lack the very context in which they were originally used and online even less so. A web page per object doesn’t leave much room for interaction; the idea was to encourage participation and engagement by treating each object as a person.

A small central website co-ordinated the project: , this was a starting off point and archive. Each object was announced on the central website with links to the identity on Facebook etc. Over the week the object told a story inspired by its history this did include some fictional elements. The objects responded to questions, comments and thoughts from the audience. The story was mainly planned in advance but might react or change in response to the audience interaction.

Jewellery Box

The Jewellery box ‘lived’ on eBay ; ‘I’m an antique jewellery box. Over the years, I’ve been passed down from family member to family member, collecting a selection of rings, necklaces and trinkets along the way. Now, I’ve fallen upon hard times, and I’m auctioning off some items.’ The box provided background stories about the two items to be sold.

One of these items was a mock pearl necklace which got 7 bids and sold for £2.40.  The other item was a chunky bangle which received 35 views, 6 bids and sold for £3.10.

The story provided for the bangle was:

 Mary received this bangle as a present on her 12th birthday from her mother.  She loved playing in the garden on her own, getting muddy amongst the rose beds and brambles. The present was a reminder of those times, but also was a signal that it was time for Mary to start growing up.  She wore it, reluctantly at first, with her pretty white dresses on formal occasions, or when there were visitors to the house. Later, she took to wearing it as often as she could, even sleeping with it if she could get away with it.  But within two years the bangle had been discarded, thrust into me, her mother’s jewellery box, and forgotten about. Mary started wearing other jewellery – new necklaces, bracelets, and then had her ears pierced.  But she always remembered the chunky bangle as the first piece of “grown-up” jewellery she was ever given.

 Actually the item was a tea caddy, it seemed strange to tell fiction about an object but it did not seem to matter in the end and was a very interesting experiment.

Boots baby weighing scales

The Boots Baby Weighing Scales ‘lived’ on Facebook for one week.  Rattle published a week’s worth of anonymous baby weights and times from a hospital in Nottingham. Approximately 350 records, 50 a day, just over 4 an hour or one every 15 minutes. The thinking was that Facebook was popular for sharing this type of information with friends.  Soon after the weights were beginning to be published, other people began to publish their own children’s weights, times and genders.  This continued sometime after the initial week ended! By the end of this project the page got 43 wall posts in total and 85 fans .

Raleigh Chopper

The idea was to tell the story as if the chopper had a life on twitter with updates, images and events it attended. It was clearly authored and written in an irreverent style, encouraging people to take interest in the object, its history and its life. The ideas was to vocalise an object, get under  its skin and understand what its thoughts would be, how it would feel, watching people, experiencing being used, unused and rescued for the museum. An idiosyncratic object (odd-shaped wheels, notional braking system, unfortunate gear stick placement, lively suspension) gave it a longer life cycle for conversational content. It was bought as a gift, the coolest thing on two wheels, lived as a ridiculous stunt bike injuring plenty and ultimately ended up obsolete and superseded by the BMX. Strong links to Nottingham. The bike wanted to hear people’s anecdotes and memories, to be sad when the chopper was down and visa versa. As people asked questions tid bits of history and pithy retorts could be added. The content was half written, part responsive and part on the fly. The writer became attached to the story and was excited when riding in parks, sad when abandoned, hopeful when rescued and proud when on display at Nottingham Museum at the end.


@yellowchopper how do you answer to the accusation that you have made lots of dentists very rich over the years.

Following @yellowchopper is becoming quite upsetting.

So sad the glory days of @yellowchopper look like being over.

Paul Englefield Painting on Flickr

This object story was advertised via postcard. Every few days part of the picture was revealed with a question or a statement about the activity shown. People can respond by adding a note or comment to the image. Every few days the image was locked down and a new part opened until after 7 days the full painting was revealed. The Flickr page got 498 views and 27 contacts.

Thoughts from the project

  • Communicate clearly what the audience should engage with and how
  • Interaction for each object was not long enough
  • Use existing audience and also fan groups
  • Wish we could have provided links to objects on line and tracked web hits
  • Follow dynamics of online communities you are engaging with

Wendy Freer, Digital Projects at Ashby De La Zouch Museum

Objects have been taken out of store and presented to a person who has a connection to the object to talk about it on film. The films show the objects and interviewee’s hands only. Veterinary instruments were used and a retired vet was interviewed. He was a friend of the donor of the objects. 8 films were made. The conversation was enhanced by the interviewer who grew up on a farm and knew a lot of background about the instruments. 4 QR codes in the gallery link the objects to the You Tube clips. Wendy is considering the use of Augmented Reality in the museum and has logged into Aurasma an augmented reality platform demonstrated at the last DEN training. Aurasma is available as a free app for iPhones, iPads and high-powered Android.

Helen Chatterton, Digital Projects at Creswell Crags

Connecting Creswell is an ACE funded project that will run until March 31st and will continue as an HLF project from March 2013 to Summer 2013. The idea is to improve interpretation of the site. There will be outdoor panels and a digital app. The HLF young roots project will help create content. The crags want to engage young audiences with the project.  Trent and peak archaeology have carried out 3D laser scans of the caves. Only two of the caves are accessible and then with guided tours. Vertigo creative are working on an app with 5 students from Nottingham Trent University. The app will be a simple trail around the site and museum. Tablets have been bought and free Wi-Fi has been installed in the museum. The apps will be created for android and apple but not for windows. It is customary to pay for each variation of the app to make it compatible with different platforms. A future project might be 3D printing of the rock art.

Future Proof Update:

My learning

All online learning resources should be created with support from the My Learning team and placed on the My Learning website with links back to the Museum’s own website. The Learn With Museums resources are slowly being added to My Learning. Each resource is reviewed by a teacher’s panel. My Learning gets c 60,000 hits a month. Please get in touch with Alison Hughes if you have any questions:

DEN website

Please continue to blog and get in touch if you need any help. There are currently blogs from Ashby De La Zouch Museum, MuBu Miner and Sudbury Hall and National Museum of Childhood. The website had 770 hits in November , 740 hits in December and 878 hits in January. Digital Welly will host the DEN site keeping the domain name and server running. No paid support has been built in but the team at Digital Welly will be happy to help for a small fee. You can continue to blog in your museum space. The DEN website will be monitored by EMMS for 2 years until Feb 28th 2015.

Future of DEN

DEN events will continue to be posted on the EMMS website and the DEN Facebook page. An HLF bid is in development with EMMS in order to provide training and support for museums carrying out digital projects from March 2013. There is evidence that it is becoming harder to attract the museum workforce to meetings and training courses thus digital training and development needs would be addressed through a locally-based coaching / mentoring approach for volunteers working in small clusters of neighbouring museums, or (where necessary) a single museum.

Please come along to a DEN meeting even if you don’t currently have a project to share, the project does not need to be ongoing, the meetings are a great place to share thoughts and ideas and catch up with colleagues interested in digital projects.

Round up of projects:

Foxton Canal Museum

1813 and 1913 significant events to put on blog. Facebook on website. Long term digital version of locks and inclined plane in 1900 – work with DMU. Games quality graphics. Point phone round site. 150k.

Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood

Derbyshire Heritage Award won for 10 teenages and 10 toys all 13 year olds. Betty Cadbury Collection – make more films of automata show in gallery where object is displayed. Share on Facebook and You Tube. Rose and Laura blog about their job as documentation assistants. Volunteers call out to help with blogging. Knowledgeable chap encouraged to blog. Short stories on Facebook. Have a look.

Digital Strategies Support from Museum Development Network

  • The programme will last for one year and will look at what digital strategies could be implemented into your museum (e.g. assist collections care, data collection, marketing, social networking, collections documentation)
  • Working one-to-one with a mentor and help facilitate development in this area
  • Training provision can be arranged, in particular Social Media training
  • The programme will be advertised in February 2013 and Museums will be able to apply in March 2013.
  • If your museum is interested in training or one-to-one support, please email Claire Browne  before end of March 2013
  • If your museum has a particular digital ambition – please email requests and ideas to .

Date of next meeting

Wednesday 15th May, DEN meeting, Creswell Crags, 10:30 am to 12:30pm. With a tour of the crags after lunch.

Please come along to a DEN meeting even if you don’t currently have a project to share, the project does not need to be ongoing, the meetings are a great place to share thoughts and ideas and catch up with colleagues interested in digital.


DEN Meeting 7

Digital Engagement Network Meeting 7

Wednesday 5th December 2012, 1pm to 4pm

Northampton Museum and Art Gallery



Deb Cox Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
Mandeep Dhadialla Market Harborough Museum
Wendy Freer Ashby De La Zouch Museum
Jenny Hand Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
Steve Le Motte EMMS
Caroline Moore Digital Engagement Network
Ellie Stout The Mighty Creatives



David Amos MuBu Miner
Jane Baile Prebendal Manor
Mike Beech Foxton Canal Museum
Kerem Cetindamar Leicester City Arts and Museums
Sharon Gerrard Lincolnshire Museums
Emma Hancock Creswell Crags
Louise Lowth Nottingham City Museums & Galleries
Zara Matthews Market Harborough Museum
Sophie Newland Pratt Sudbury Hall and National Museum of Childhood, National Trust
Nisha Popat Leicester City Arts and Museums
Lynsey Woods Southwell Workhouse


Welcome and introductions:

Caroline welcomed everyone.

Digital project presentations:

Jenny Hand and Deb Cox, Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

With MuBu 1st stage funding the museum developed skills which included filming and editing. The films were ok for a first attempt and are now on You Tube.

With MuBu/DEN 2nd stage funding the museum made high quality films. The project was called Talking with hands and involved the Northampton Association for the Blind and Northampton Museum’s youth forum. 10 star objects were chosen from the collection and the participants described them through touch. The workshops were filmed. The film maker was given freedom to create the films and Deb and Jenny were very pleased with the results. Creative graphics have been added between the films. The videos are on You Tube but have not been promoted.  Jenny will monitor You Tube and see how many hits are recorded. QR codes in the gallery link objects to the corresponding video on you tube. The museum has iPads but has not used them yet as the Wi-Fi in the museum needs to be improved first.

Talking collections was the first of the museum projects on you tube. A film maker did the interpretation. He chose paintings where a portrait and a person were linked in some way through their job or town connection. These videos are used as gallery tours.

Ellie Stout, The Mighty Creatives

The Mighty Creatives is the Arts Council England bridge organisation, ‘a charity working across the East Midlands to champion young people’s creativity and innovation’. Their new project champions arts and culture in people’s lives. There are nine areas in the region and four types of children’s groups that are eligible for funding. There will be another nine areas that are eligible next year. Groups can apply for between £5000 and £20 000. Groups must connect with schools. They are keen to support digital projects and rural projects.

Mandeep Dhadialla, Market Harborough Museum

Mandeep discussed the Highlights of Harborough project. The project involves cataloguing and digitising photos and audio clips from local villages. The museum have trained volunteers in scanning, research, creation of fact files and simple coding. The volunteers all local knowledge and are extremely valuable in keeping the capacity going. The project involves past and present comparisons and interesting stories and connections that have been found amongst the material. There is a trail between the finds and the material is displayed on a digital map. The map is currently only available in the museum and the museum is closed until 2014 when it will re-open in a building with the library. Internet friendly map software and a more interactive map will be considered in the new building. Several suggestions were made such as using Google maps as used at Foxton Canal Museum in their digital canal project and using History Pin.

Future Proof Update:

Learn with Museums

My Learning training was held on Thursday 6th December at Lincolnshire Archives and attracted 11 participants. The wifi was excellent so thanks to Andrea Martin and Claire Arrand for that. The day covered how to signpost to online content from your venue, how to evaluate your online resources and how to add content to My Learning using the simple upload system.

DEN website

DEN home page







Please continue to blog and get in touch if you need any help. There are currently blogs from Sir John Moore Foundation, Ashby Museum, MuBu Miner, Prebendal Manor, the Harley Gallery, Sudbury Hall and National Museum of Childhood. The website had 148 hits in September, 220 hits in October and 883 hits in November.

Future of DEN

DEN events will continue to be posted on the EMMS website and the DEN Facebook page. An HLF bid is in development with EMMS in order to provide training and support for museums carrying out digital projects from March 2013. There is evidence that it is becoming harder to attract the museum workforce to meetings and training courses thus digital training and development needs would be addressed through a locally-based coaching / mentoring approach for volunteers working in small clusters of neighbouring museums, or (where necessary) a single museum. Watch this space. The DEN website will continue to be hosted and monitored by EMMS for 2 years.

There are two more DEN events this financial year. The next DEN training day is on Thursday 24th January at Ashby De La Zouch Museum and will cover Augmented Reality and QR Codes. The next DEN meeting is on Wednesday 30th January 10am to 12:30pm at New Walk Museum, Leicester. Please let me know if you would like to attend the training day and/or the DEN meeting.

Round up of projects:

Ashby de la Zouch museum

The next film from the Ashby Film Unit will cover the Civil War in Ashby. The museum is considering holding some Wikipedia days where Wikipedians are invited into the museum to create articles about objects in the museum. Jenny Hand suggested working with keen bloggers who already have a big online audience. There is Wifi in the Museum and three QR codes with more to follow.

Date of next meeting:

Thursday 24th January, DEN training day, Ashby De La Zouch Museum, Augmented Reality and QR Codes, 10am to 3:30pm.

Wednesday 30th January, DEN meeting, New Walk Museum, 10am to 12:30pm.


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.




Google Cultural Institute Platform

As mentioned by Nick Poole on the museum computer group mailing list. Google has launched the Google Cultural Institute platform, that is designed to provide cultural institutions with tools to open up collections online to new audiences. The platform launches with online exhibits from 17 cultural heritage institutions from around the world.

Here is a short interview with the Google Institute Director Steve Crossan The interview also
contains details of how organisations can register their interest in
participating in the new platform. The Collections Trust will be working with the team at Google to look at how to ensure that the process of participating is as smooth and risk-free as possible.

More updates will be provided when available.


Free digital resources available

There are some great digital resources hosted on the EMMS website. If you click on digital then 2009 there is a simple guide to digitisation, a digital preservation guide and an e commerce guide. If you click on 2010 there is a guide to social media. These guides were funded by Renaissance East Midlands and created through the MuBu project.

Front cover of simple guide to digitisation










There are more digital resources in the Share Museums East Digital Bank. This collection of resources suggests ways museums can use digital technology to improve access to collections, and share them with new audiences. There are simple guides and useful links for using Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, for digitising collections, creating new content and on digital copyright. There is also an Audio Visual guide with information on how to create podcasts and videos. There are links to advice on building a digital strategy and evaluating your online presence.

Search the Culture Grid for objects from museums and libraries in the East Midlands. The search box can be found on the EMMS Homepage on the right hand side of the page.


Getting technical with films!

Here’s a film about Green’s Windmill – it wasn’t part of my project but I’m hoping to include this series of films on the resource for schools.


Green’s Windmill

Green's windmill in Sneinton, Nottingham
Green’s Windmill on a Crisp Winter’s Day

In addition to working directly for Renaissance East Midlands, I have also been working on an e-learning project for Green’s Windmill in Sneinton, Nottingham.  This resource is aimed at KS1 and 2 pupils and includes a video tour of the mill, with star appearances from 8 local school children from 3 different primary schools in Sneinton.  It also has information about the mill and how flour is made.  It has the story of the life George Green who lived there and became an important scientist and mathematician, and also  has interactive activities.  The site has been built on WordPress by Neil Beattie from ExpoDesign.


Rutland Railway Museum

View of locomotives at Rutland Railway Museum
Simon shows us the site

Sam and I had a lovely day out at Rutland Railway Museum last week.  Simon Layfield gave us a guided tour of the site with its array of proposed changes.  We had never been there before and were surprised to drive into what seemed like a building site, and we were later told that some people even refer to as a ‘scrap yard’.  How wrong could they be?

An amazing array of locomotive engines, a copy of an ironstone quarry based on the same geological features higher up the hill, workshops and sheds where work continues on restoring these amazing engines.  Some stunning nature trails with the opportunity for picnics.  Even some HLF funded toilets!  The story is a wonderful one of passionate volunteers and enthusiasts who are doing so much to reenergise a site and the local history and heritage of the surrounding area.

MuBu project has involved a series of films to be created about the site with local actors playing the lead roles of a new apprentice arriving at the works.  In addition to watching these and being very entertained (and learning a lot!), we also participated in a rebranding exercise based on some work that has been undertaken by Ketchup Marketing.

We had to think of some themes around re-naming the site, and come up with possible enticing new names – which also ‘do what they say on the tin’.  Watch this space…


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