Category: Cultural Heritage

How can heritage institutions work with their communities to build broader, more inclusive and culturally relevant collections?

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Participatory Heritage, edite9781783301232.jpgd by Henriette Roued-Cunliffe and Andrea Copeland

 The internet as a platform for facilitating human organization without the need for organizations has, through social media, created new challenges for cultural heritage institutions. Challenges include but are not limited to: how to manage copyright, ownership, orphan works, open data access to heritage representations and artefacts, crowdsourcing, cultural heritage amateurs, information as a commodity or information as public domain, sustainable preservation, attitudes towards openness and much more.

 Participatory Heritage uses a selection of international case studies to explore these issues. It demonstrates that in order for personal and community-based documentation and artefacts to be preserved and included in social and collective histories, individuals and community groups need the technical and knowledge infrastructures of support that formal cultural institutions can provide. In other words, both groups need each other.

The editors said, “It is our hope that this book will help information and heritage professionals learn from others who are engaging with participatory heritage communities”.

Henriette Roued-Cunliffe, DPhil is an Assistant Professor at the Royal School of Library and Information Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She teaches and researches heritage data and information, and in particular how DIY culture is engaging with cultural heritage online and often outside of institutions. Her website is: roued.com.

Andrea Copeland is an Associate Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, Indianapolis. Her research focus is public libraries and their relationship with communities, with a current emphasis on connecting the cultural outputs of individuals and community groups to a sustainable preservation infrastructure.

New edited collection on managing digital cultural objects

Facet Publishing have announced the publication of Managing Digital Cultural Objects: Analysis, discovery and retrieval edited by Allen Foster and Pauline Rafferty both at Aberystwyth University.Foster & R Managing digital cultural objects_COVER

The book explores the analysis and interpretation, discovery and retrieval of a variety of non-textual objects, including image, music and moving image.

Bringing together chapters written by leading experts in the field, the first part of this book provides an overview of the theoretical and academic aspects of digital cultural documentation and considers both technical and strategic issues relating to cultural heritage projects, digital asset management and sustainability. The second part includes contributions from practitioners in the field focusing on case studies from libraries, archives and museums. While the third and final part considers social networking and digital cultural objects.

Managing Digital Cultural Objects: Analysis, discovery and retrieval draws from disciplines including information retrieval, library and information science (LIS), digital preservation, digital humanities, cultural theory, digital media studies and art history. It’s argued that this multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach is both necessary and useful in the age of the ubiquitous and mobile web.

Key topics covered include:

  • Managing, searching and finding digital cultural objects
  • Data modelling for analysis, discovery and retrieval
  • Social media data as a historical source
  • Visual digital humanities
  • Digital preservation of audio content
  • Photos on social networking sites
  • Searching and creating affinities in web music collections
  • Film retrieval on the web.

The book will provide inspiration for students seeking to develop creative and innovative research projects at Masters and PhD levels and will be essential reading for those studying digital cultural object management. Equally, it should serve practitioners in the field who wish to create and develop innovative, creative and exciting projects in the future.

About the editors:

Allen Foster has a BA in Social History, a Master’s in Information Management and a PhD in Information Science.  As Reader in Information Science, he has held various roles, including Head of Department for Information Studies, at Aberystwyth University.  His research interest areas span the research process of Master’s and
PhD students, the development of models for information behaviour and serendipity, and user experience of information systems, creativity and information retrieval. He has guest edited for several journal special issues, is a regional editor for The Electronic Library and is a member of journal editorial boards, international panels and conference committees.

Dr Pauline Rafferty MA(Hons) MSc MCLIP is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Teaching and Learning at the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University. She previously taught at the Department of Information Science, City University London, and in the School of Information Studies and Department of Media and Communication at the University of Central England, Birmingham.

Contributors:

Sarah Higgins, Aberystwyth University

Katrin Weller, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Hannah Dee, Aberystwyth University

Lorna Hughes, University of Glasgow

Lloyd Roderick, Aberystwyth University

Alexander Brown,  Aberystwyth University

Maureen Pennock, British Library

Michael Day, British Library

Will Prentice, British Library

Corinne Jörgensen, Florida State University (Emeritus)

Nicola Orio, University of Padua

Kathryn La Barre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Rosa Ines de Novias Cordeiro, Federal Fluminense University, Rio de Janeiro

Should we equate preservation of cultural heritage with human rights?

temple-baal-shamin-libraries-times-crisis

Michele Cloonan, Dean Emirata and Professor at the Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Simmons College and editor of Preserving our Heritage :  Perspective from antiquity to the digital age, writes about the destruction of cultural heritage in a new blog for CILIP. An extract is below:

While most of us don’t equate preservation with human rights, the relationship has been touched on at least as early as the nineteenth century —although the destruction of cultural heritage has taken place for as long as there has been heritage. In the nineteenth century the concept of human rights was considered in the context of war. Swiss businessman and reformer Henri Dunant was an organiser of the First Geneva Conference for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded Armies in the Field (1863-64) and a founder of the Red Cross (see his Memory of Solferino [Geneva, Switzerland: International Committee of the Red Cross, 1986]).

At just about the same time as these activities were taking place in Europe, Francis Lieber, a German jurist who settled in the United States, prepared for the Union Army General Orders No. 100: Instructions for the Government of the Armies of the United States in the Field, better known as the Lieber Code; it established rules for the humane treatment of civilians in areas of conflict and forbade the execution of prisoners of war. Further it sought the protection of works of art, scientific collections, and hospitals in war-torn areas. These ideas were further developed in the Hague Peace Conferences that were held from 1899-1907 and in the later Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954 and the 1999 Second Protocol). Excerpts of these codes, conventions, and protocols are included in chapter 9 of my books Preserving Our Heritage: Perspectives from antiquity to the digital age (London: Facet, 2015).

Read the full blog on the CILIP website.

A comprehensive account of research in digital cultural heritage

Cultural Heritage Information: Access and management, edited by G G Chowdhury and Ian Ruthven, th9781856049306e first book in the iResearch series, provides an overview of various challenges and contemporary research activities in cultural heritage information focusing particularly on the cultural heritage content types, their characteristic and digitization challenges; cultural heritage content organization and access issues; users and usability as well as various policy and sustainability issues associated with digital cultural heritage information systems and services.

The book contains eleven chapters that have been contributed by seventeen leading academics from six countries including; Melissa Terras, UCL; Paul Clough, University of Sheffield; Chris Alen Sula, Pratt Institute; Juliane Stiller, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Hussein Suleman, University of Cape Town and Ali Shiri, University of Alberta, Edmonton.

iResearch is a new academic series edited by G G Chowdhury, Professor in Information Science and Head of the Department of Mathematics and Information Science at Northumbria University. This peer-reviewed monograph series supports the vision of the iSchools and creates authoritative sources of information for research and scholarly activities in information studies. Each book in the series addresses a specific aspect or emerging topic of information studies and provides a state-of-the-art review of research in the chosen field and addresses the issues, challenges and progress of research and practice.

The series is overseen by an editorial board comprising; Peter Willett, University of Sheffield; Ian Ruthven, University of Strathclyde; Dorothy Williams, Robert Gordon University, Harry Bruce, University of Washington; Jonathan Furner, UCLA; Edie Rasmussen, University of British Columbia; Michael Seadle, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Fabio Crestani, University of Lugano; Schubert Foo, Nanyang Technological University and Shigeo Sugimoto, University of Tsukuba.

G G Chowdhury said, “I am excited with the launch of the iResearch series. I am very pleased to have an editorial advisory board that comprises experts from around the world in Information Science. I hope that Cultural Heritage Information and the future titles in the series will be able to address the growing market demand for monographs addressing different topical and emerging areas of research in Information.”

More info about the book: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/title.php?id=049306&category_code=603#.VO7_RPmsUew
More info about the series: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/category.php?category_code=603&series=y

10 tips for organising an exhibition for museums, libraries and archives

exhibition

Flickr cc image from linspiration01: https://www.flickr.com/photos/91429305@N07/8869154953

This blog post originally appeared on the CILIP website.

All of us who put on exhibitions know there is never enough time. Even when dates look good, there are always changes and unforeseen problems. In the run up to the opening, it really does seem to prove Parkinson’s Law – no matter how much time you have, it always seems to go up to the wire.

And then there are the things we forget – did we check the copyright on that item; what were the special conditions of that loan; does a particular lender require immunity from seizure; what light levels do we need?

Here are my top 10 tips for organising a successful exhibition:

1. Good planning and organisation

organizing

Flickr cc image from Lenore Edman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80522246@N00/4600805014

This is the most important! Make sure you have enough time and people with the right knowledge and experience to carry out the project.

Organizing exhibitions is a process; objects don’t appear on display by magic and every exhibition is the result of planning and organisation. Consider your success factors from the outset and make sure the team keeps referring to them.

Make sure you have enough time for last minute changes or unforeseen problems. Couriers have been known to take their object home if they find the gallery is still being built or the display case is not ready.

Make a list of everything you have to do. It could include design, contracts, loans, transport, customs, licensing, insurance or indemnity, couriers, copyright, display cases, web page, education programmes and marketing.

2. Adequate budget

Money is not the most important thing but you must match your exhibition to your budget. Know exactly what the budget is and stick to it. You can always expand if more money comes in.

3. Documentation

documenting

Flickr cc image from Lauren Manning: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28541331@N00/6632168023

Set up good systems for logging objects, loans, dates, etc., and keep track of everything. Sign and date agreements. Keep records.

4. Team work

Every exhibition calls for teamwork. Have one team leader and regular team meetings.

5. Good communication & negotiation

communication

Flickr cc image from Stig Nygaard: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10259776@N00/450640129

Make sure everyone in the team knows what is happening and when. Talk to each other and have frequent communication with lenders and contractors. Most difficulties can be solved by negotiation.

6. Keep to the schedule

All exhibitions are time-bound, under pressure and with fixed deadlines. Have someone in charge of the schedule who makes sure everything is on time and who can take action if things start to slide.

Make sure the schedule is written down and available for everyone. It should set out all the key stages and milestones of the project with dates and the named responsible person. Activities can be plotted on the chart to make sure programme is on time.

7. Clear areas of responsibility

too many cooks

Flickr cc image from Rega Photography: http://www.flickr.com/photos/70794774@N04/7731824158

Make sure everyone’s role is clear so that there are not “too many cooks…” Who is responsible for making decisions and who has the last word?

8. Emergency response

Know what to do if things go wrong. Have the team do a risk assessment at the outset and draw up a response plan. Make sure everyone knows the plan.

9. Good maintenance

maintenance

Flickr cc image from Angelo DeSantis: http://www.flickr.com/photos/78023771@N00/8557695912

Make sure the exhibition looks as good on the last day as at the opening. Peeling labels, dirty marks or broken interactives give a poor message and also reduce visitor enjoyment.

10. Legacy

And when the exhibition closes, make sure all the hard work leaves something behind. A website, catalogue, workshop, app or partnerships can all continue to provide benefits long after the items have gone home.

The success of an exhibition doesn’t depend on size, money or visitor figures. Any exhibition can be a success with careful planning and good organisation.

About the author

Freda Matassa is author of Organizing Exhibitions: A handbook for museums, libraries and archives. Whether you organize exhibitions every day or are thinking of doing your first one, help is at hand in Organizing Exhibitions. The book is a simple step-by-step process with all the stages of putting on an exhibition from initial idea to closure and legacy. It’s designed for any size or type of display and makes sure that no key element is left out.