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The opportunity?

  • Digital presents an unprecedented opportunity to educate and inspire the public, beyond “a great museum day out”. Society cohesion and trust can be built through public participation in its preservation and celebration.

  • The vast majority of British Cultural Heritage held in Museums is neither available digitally, nor ‘on display’.

  • The Museums have huge public trust and convening power. There is a small army of passionate curators ready to tell the stories and lead communities once they can be digitally connected.

The challenges?

  • Uniting messages and digital material across diverse audiences and subjects is a decadal level of issue. It requires significant (and probably new) foundational digital investment and sector collaboration. 

  • c5000 museums, archives and special interest organisations exist, plus many more libraries. Local digital excellence and audiences must be celebrated, not threatened. Core funding comes from 11 separate government departments. 

  • Rapid and meaningful game-changing initiatives are required to change thought and maintain momentum. Trust must be built to collaborate across museums with diverse funding models and governance.

Why Corsham Institute?

  • Corsham Institute has convening power, connections and digital capabilities to drive new digital foundations for Digital Cultural Heritage. Our Ethics, Communities and Learning programmes bring significant and essential expertise to the table too.

What are we doing?

  • Corsham Institute convene a research community from which a decadal level digital foundations programme will flow. It will be collaborative across national, regional and local institutions, with mixed public/private/3rdsector and individual funding. 

  • A ‘Prove & Expand’ programme strategy is used, with learning and momentum through proofs of value which change the way in which the sector operates.

In March 2019 we began the Discovery phase for Digital Cultural Heritage with a research piece focusing on the key challenges facing the creation of a foundational digital programme in cultural heritage. Click the button below to read the full report, which presents the findings of this research.

If you would like to discuss research or how you can get involved, please get in touch with David Thomas via email at dthomas@corshaminstitute.org.