3 September 2018 | 09:30 - 17:00 London | British Museum

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The British Museum’s National Programmes team, with the generous support of the Vivmar Foundation, is hosting a free one-day conference on Monday 3 September 2018 in partnership with the Digital Preservation Coalition, exploring the subject of digital content in museums.

Conference Scope

The UK museum sector is making increasingly creative use of digital technologies in the way it records and disseminates information about its collections. These technologies and advances in museum practice offer dynamic and exciting new ways of engaging people with collections, but they also provoke urgent questions about how we manage and preserve all the digital content we’re creating.

Looking after physical assets in archives and collections is at the heart of museum work, but how do we do the same for our digital assets? What are the new skills museums need to safeguard digital content and how will we develop them?

In this one-day conference we want to explore best practice in how we as a sector create, curate and preserve digital content – not just the exciting outward-facing side of digital technology in museums, but the often overlooked back-of-house digital preservation work that is essential to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of these efforts.

Central to the day is the question: if museums are memory institutions, how do we ensure that we maintain access to the digital memory that we’re creating now for our future audiences?

Conference Programme

The programme for the day is currently in development and further details will be published in due course. It will include a range of sessions exploring the following themes though presentations, case studies, workshops and discussion:

  1. Digital content creation. How can museums and galleries best engage with new and emerging technologies while thinking about long-term sustainability? What does best practice look like? What are the key considerations and questions to ask when procuring or outsourcing resilient digital services? How can / do we successfully engage artists working in digital media? What promises, implied or explicit, are we making to the future when we create or commission digital content?
  2. Curation and use of digital content. How can we optimise the way we engage with people through digital technology today so that we secure its value for tomorrow? What do we really understand successful digital audience engagement to be, both remote and in-gallery? How can collections be most effectively disseminated digitally? How can back-end coding and optimisation help content reach more people? How do we choose which digital platforms and media to invest time and money in, when new technologies are emerging and becoming obsolete so quickly?
  3. Digital preservation. What are the essential steps for building a resilient digital preservation strategy for a museum, gallery or cultural heritage organisation? How can we develop and implement policies and strategies that will support the acquisition, life cycle management and dissemination of digital materials? How can we anticipate and manage data loss? Is future-proofing possible / how best can we adapt our practice? Which skills does the sector most need to develop now, to create the workforce we will need in the future?

Information for delegates

This event is free to attend and open to anyone working in or with UK museums, as well as representatives of sector bodies, academics and early-career scholars, people working in the creative and digital industries with a relevance to the museum sector, and others working in these fields including digital preservation specialists and practitioners.

Please note:

Registration on the day will open at 9:30am, with presentations beginning at 10:30am. 

Lunch will be provided.

A photographer will be present throughout the day, documenting the event for the Museum; by attending you will be agreeing to this photography.

How to register

DPC members have access to priority registration until 22nd June. Registration will close one week before the event.


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