Experiencing the Digital World: The Cultural Value of Digital Engagement with Heritage is an exciting project at University of Leeds, aiming at providing
”a critical review of the role of digital engagement and access in shaping cultural experiences in the context of museums, galleries and heritage. Academics and practitioners alike have explored the potential of digital technology for offering new insights into our understanding of the past for an ever wider section of society. This has taken a number of forms, from 3D modelling of archaeological sites to large-scale digitisation projects for the long-term preservation and curation of material heritage. At the same time, the digital world can be used as a tool for increasing and broadening public participation in heritage culture.”
As well as the critical review document, the project will be producing a briefing paper for museum, gallery and heritage professionals and hosting an international workshop with partner organisations in Leeds on 9th May 2014. I have been invited to this workshop and am very excited to start looking into the cultural value of digital engagement with heritage. My role is to provide insight from the museum sector (along with others). And I will be drawing on my 19 years experience of working with disseminating heritage through digital channels.
However, taking a step back and actually reflecting on the cultural value of what we do at museums in terms of digital, is something we need to spend much more time doing. I am speaking for the museum sector, rather unashamedly – though of course there is plenty of research going on on different levels. In times of funding getting cut, and resources scarce, we will have to argue even further that our digital efforts are in fact bringing great value (and in what way) to society.
These are just some primary thoughts as I am starting to prepare for the workshop in May. And doing research online I came across this interesting blog #TheCulturalValueInitiative by Dr Eleonora Belfiore, who is connecting cultural value to the very relevant issues of funding. And developing these thoughts further knowledge of cultural value and digital engagement with heritage is of course central also for decision making in terms of allocating resources, making priorities etc.
I am very happy to explore this subject further and will return to cultural value and digital engagement with heritage in a couple of blog posts.
Blog post 8/100 #Blogg100-challenge