Archive dreaming and painting robots: seeking sector responses to CultureIsDigital 4/8/2017

  DCMS is consulting arts and museum professionals and technology specialists on digital provision in the cultural sector, under the banner #CultureIsDigital. Museums are encouraged to join the conversation taking place on the DCMS website. Some contributions so far include:  

  • Collections Trust calls on DCMS to 'futureproof the way museums share their collections online'.  It points out that nearly all of the 1,700 museums in the UK have digitised collection databases, and that the sector is now reaching the point where it is possible to aggregate collections across all institutions into a data set searchable by regions and specialisms. CT advocates ‘persistent identifiers’ for data, so a collection will stay linked to a central database regardless of changing URLs and home websites. It suggests that government funds one of its sponsored national bodies to take the project forward, and offers up its preliminary work on CultureGrid as a basis for designing such a system. Collections Trust
  • Most museums collecting archaeological archives have data stored on CDs and floppy discs which will obsolete in five years. David Dawson at the Wiltshire Museum is among those championing the ACE 'Seeing the Light of Day' project, championing a joined up approach to digital storage. DCMS
  • 3D digitisation is the next step in making collections more accessible to the public; it is 'relatively cheap and easy' but few museum professionals have the skills, although courses are becoming more available. DCMS
    • Lucy Sollitt, who leads on the Cultural Content and Technology strand of the conversation for DCMS, has published a number of short pieces written for the British Council looking at subjects such as cultural organisations mixing reality with VR and how we all increasingly collaborate with intelligent robots. British Council
    • One developer comments that with the exception of the ACE/Nesta Digital R&D Fund, very few funds explicitly encourage cutting edge technology with the arts.
    • Sheffield’s Site Gallery created a summer of arts-led interdisciplinary talks on digital, science and the arts. The organisers comment that where the two mix, it is comparatively rare to see these led from an arts perspective. DCMS
  •   NMDC urges museum professionals to join the conversation at #CultureIsDigital – and to invite developers and tech suppliers working with the sector to add their thoughts. Existing projects and case studies are encouraged as well as new ideas for the future. Please also vote up the ideas you find the most useful. Gov.uk, #CultureIsDigital