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 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.


Top blogs and MuBu!

Here we are at Highpoint Conference centre in Leicester with a group of people from various MuBu projects including Stories Home and DH Lawrence Heritage Trails.  We have looked at different blogs as examples of using lists of ‘top 10s’ which apparently get people hooked.  Have a look at  The Happiness Project and Marc and Angel Hack Life as examples of this.

A personal favourite of mine is an amazing project taking place at Manchester Art Gallery, around a little-known collection of social history items, the Mary Greg collection of ‘handicrafts of bygone times’.  Mary Mary Quite Contrary is a blog which, like this, also uses WordPress and is produced by passionate interpretation staff, artists, lecturers, students and all sorts of other interested people…

Anyway, back to the task in hand…


Putting images and videos onto your blog

This is a koala

I took this picture in my back garden last summer!!!

Embed videos into Mubu from Youtube

Find a video on youtube and copy the URL (right click video and choose copy video URL) eg:

Only this format will work. this is the correct format, if there are any other entries these need to be removed eg:

Find a clip you want to embed. Right click it and choose ‘copy video URL’

Paste this link into your blog inside embed tags as follows:

Remove any information in the link other than this eg:


Mubu workshop number 5

Well here we are now well into the cycle of MuBu workshops and the blogs and social networks are really starting to get going. It seems many of you already have some content on social platforms and are looking for ideas as to how to use them better.

Fiona Baker who looks after ‘Old, New, borrowed and something blue‘ has run a blog over the past year on Blogspot. We’ve recently transferred this into the Mubu project blog as this give much better control and editability.

If you need help on either a technical or design issue please drop me an email at and I’ll help you out. This might be your blog background, header image or simple general help.

Keep blogging.


Workshop Notes from June

Starting a blog

  • Content to follow…

Requests and feedback

Send your requests, questions and feedback


How to add a new blog entry

There are 4 things you need to set for each new blog entry

  1. Blog title
    this should be informative and engaging in the way a news headline captures attention
  2. Blog content
    This is the actual content of the article and con include images, links, downloadable documents etc.
  3. Category
    Every blog entry needs to be linked to a category. You can have as many categories as you feel you need but by default you will have a general category. You can add more categories later
  4. Excerpt
    This is optional but a good way of giving people an idea as to what your article is about before they click through to read it. If you don’t type an excerpt your full blog entry will be shown instead.


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DEN Support content