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Culture is Digital survey: Digitisation in museums

Sarah Madden, 18.01.2019

Digitisation survey from DCMS

The National Archives, on behalf of the Culture is Digital taskforce, would like to know about digitisation in your museum. If you have a spare 15 minutes, please help them get a fuller picture of England’s museums, and answer a few questions on behalf of your museum via this survey link, by this coming Monday 21st January.

Culture is Digital

Last March, DCMS published Culture is Digital, a policy paper which looked at the future of the cultural sector in regards to its relationship with technology. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, the report is available to download (as well as the easier to digest Executive Summary) and clearly sets out DCMS’s areas of strategic priority for the sector; audience engagement, skills development and future strategy.

One of the areas the paper looked at as a policy priority was digital infrastructure, and in particular the development of digitised museum collections. According to the report, 61% of museums in England have digitised up to 50% of their collection, and half of those museums make some of that available online. The paper calls for a more strategic and coordinated approach to online collections, ensuring more connections can be made across datasets and online collections platforms, more curated content is available and that it is more easily discovered by audiences.

Digitised collections and the South West

According to our own survey of museums in the region back in 2016, the vast majority of museums we work with have some of their collection digitised and it’s clear that the use of digitised collections, and in particular how to make these collections available online, is a topic of great interest for South West museums. If you’ve not been able to attend any of our Museum Skills sessions on Using Museum Collections Online, there may be other ways we can support you. If you’re an Accredited museum in the region, we are available for email and/or phone consultation and can help to navigate the different online options for collections content, such as social media, websites or third party platforms like Google Arts & Culture. If you’d like to start a conversation with us about digitised collections, please email our Digital Engagement Officer or speak with your local Museum Development Officer in the first instance and we can take it from there.

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