Staff and volunteers from around 40% of UK museums are without access to the collections information they need to work remotely from home. That’s the headline finding of a survey by Collections Trust in the first few weeks of the nationwide lockdown. It’s a problem of basic digital resilience affecting museums large and small.
In its 2016 Culture White Paper the British government said it wanted to ‘make the UK one of the world’s leading countries for digitised public collections content. We want users to enjoy a seamless experience online, and have the chance to access particular collections in depth as well as search across all collections.’
This series of blog posts explores the things museums would do if they could indeed bring together information from across different collections in a seamless and futureproof way. Join in the conversation on Twitter with #ItsGoodToShare, and please get in touch if you’d like to write a blog piece on this topic.
AI technologies have great potential to help us discover meaning in museum collections, says Kevin Gosling, but they need to be trained using big data at a scale that’s currently hard for most institutions to delivers currently hard for most institutions to deliver.
Kevin Gosling, Chief Executive of Collections Trust, introduces a recently-published study, commissioned by DCMS, into the feasibility of mapping and connecting digitised cultural collections with a view to making them searchable across organisations and disciplines.
This is Collection Trust’s response, in 2017, to the #CultureisDigital consultation on cultural infrastructure by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It asks DCMS to make programme funding available to one of the government-sponsored national bodies to take responsibility for the infrastructure needed to bring together collections information from UK museums and make it available for re-use.