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Making Cultural Heritage Mobile: Challenges and Possibilities

last modified Oct 10, 2013 03:26 PM
Book now for 'Making Cultural Heritage Mobile: Challenges and Possibilities' a public lecture and conference organised by the MobileCollections Project exploring how mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can be used to enrich how we engage with cultural information


The growth of mobile internet access coupled with advances in technologies for aggregating and searching collections data has opened important debates about how mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets might be used to enrich the way we engage with cultural information.

Museums, galleries, libraries and archives are among the key cultural institutions grappling with the legal and technical challenges of balancing visitors’ changing expectations with creators’ and publishers’ rights and their own well-established practices in cultural information management, following the adoption of digital collections management systems.

At present, the UK museum sector is experiencing a digital Research and Development phase with numerous development programmes underway exploring the role of smartphones and tablets inside and outside cultural venues. Similarly projects supporting the aggregation of collections data at local, national and European level have received significant funding in recent years.

This conference will bring together experts from the UK and the US engaged with the use of mobile devices in their respective cultural sectors to address questions in three key areas:

·       What is the potential for experiential-led use of mobile devices in museums and galleries, and what practical elements are necessary for such ventures to succeed?

·       What are the key legal issues pertaining to both early stages of digitization projects (eg rights clearance, orphan works) and exploitation of digitized content (eg licensing models, exploitation strategies) and to what extent are any of these issues specific to mobile devices?

·       What are the challenges and possibilities opened up by the combination of collections across different institutions and how is smartphone access to cultural information challenged by the quantitative nature of aggregated collections?

The conference will open with a key-note lecture by Jane Alexander of the Cleveland Museum of Art at 5.30pm on Thursday 28 November, followed by a full day of panels and round-table discussion on Friday 29 November. The conference programme and full running times will be available here shortly.

Conference speakers include:

  • Jane Alexander (Director, Information Management and Technology Services, The Cleveland Museum of Art)
  • Loic Tallon (Director, Pocket-Proof)
  • Tim Knox (Director, Fitzwilliam Museum)
  • Ross Parry (Senior Lecturer in digitisation, web, mobile and in-gallery interactivity, University of Leicester)
  • Eleonora Rosati (Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law / MobileCollections, University of Cambridge)
  • Carl Hogsden (CRASSH & Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology / MobileCollections, University of Cambridge)
  • Jonathan Griffiths (Reader in Intellectual Property, Queen Mary, University of London)

The lecture and conference are free to attend and open to all, but spaces at the conference are limited so pre-registration is required. Please use this link to book.

Mobile Collections is a Research Project based at CRASSH funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange funding. 

We are a network of researchers at the University of Cambridge who are interested in how the use of digital tools is transforming scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. This transformation spans both the content and practice of humanities research, as the diffusion of digital technologies opens up new fields of study and generates research questions which breach traditional disciplinary boundaries.

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