Thursday, 15 January 2015

Tate launches world-wide access to unpublished archives of key British artists

Graham Sutherland, colour study,
Tate Archive
Tate has announced that intimate love letters from Paul Nash to his wife, touching family photographs of Jacob Epstein, unpublished images revealing Eduardo Paolozzi’s playful nature, 45 volumes of Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture records and correspondence from William Nicholson to his son Ben are among the first batch of items to be made available on Tate’s website for a world-wide audience as part of the Archives and Access project.

The project draws on the world’s largest archive of British Art – the Tate Archive - and brings it together online with Tate's art collection, making this one of the richest and most comprehensive digital art and archival resources in Europe. It is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund with a grant of £2 million.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Despair over Timbuktu Manuscripts as Funding Pulled

Manuscript image courtesy of UNESCO
In January 2013 I reported on the war driven disaster in Mali that was putting at huge risk rare manuscripts in the Timbuktu region. I was thankful then to eventually find they had been secured and saved by the heroic efforts of the local people and the (partially South African funded) Ahmed Baba Institute. Now, at the end of 2014, South Africa is formally withdrawing its financial support by closing its Timbuktu trust fund and thus clearly putting those rare manuscripts back at risk. I despair.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Do you understand your Digital Ecosystem?

The Importance of the Digital Ecosystem

The Digital Ecosystem in the Balanced Value Impact Model (illustrated by Alice Maggs)
An ecosystem is a set of interdependent relationships among the resources, technologies, organisation hosting, creators and consumers. These must be mapped and described to clearly enunciate the ecosystem of the digital resource. Without understanding the digital ecosystem it is hard to contemplate the full capabilities of the digital resource and its relationship to the stakeholders.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

When we share, do they care? Using Impact Assessment to understand how our digital presence changes lives.

Keynote address for Sharing is Caring, 1st April 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark 

Today I want to ask the question When we share, do they care? In doing so I want to focus upon a core aspect of human nature which is our sense of fairness and how we as people assign and consider values. I believe that understanding values is at the heart of the matter of considering how our digital presence has the power to change lives and life opportunities. It is through the use of impact assessment that we can then seek to understand how we are fostering those changes in our communities.

I will begin by looking briefly at sharing, then in more depth at fairness and values and finally considering how we measure impact using the Balanced Value Impact Model which places considerations of value at its heart.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Remembering Revolutionaries - Mandela, Tutu, Tony Benn and the Women's Library

Suffrage Banner
The last 2 weeks have been busy with remembering those who have made a revolutionary change to our lives. This post considers the way we remember the lives of Nelson Mandela and Tony Benn, and the revolutionary lives and history of women contained in the Women's Library.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

UK Creative Industries success story in hard economic times

(Image source: Fotolia)
The UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport released the Creative Industries Economic Estimates today. They show an incredible story of growth and success for the UK Creative Industries compared to the incredibly shallow growth in the rest of the UK economy.
The creative industries reportedly generate £8m per hour for the UK economy and employment within the creative industries increased at more than 10 times the prevailing rate of UK job growth.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My Review of the Year 2013

Time to review the year. So, who inspired me this year and what recommendations - for books to read, blogs and folks to follow - should you check out?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Coming soon to a venue near you: New Zealand and Australia itinerary

I will be travelling in New Zealand and Australia in the coming weeks. I will blog as I go about this wonderful experience. I am so pleased to have been invited to do so much with so many talented people.

Here's my itinerary for those who might be interested:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Government Shutdown = Cultural Shutdown

The US Government shutdown began on the 1st October 2013. This Federal shutdown of public services is having a disproportionate effect upon cultural institutions - whether in the closure of physical spaces (for example museums or National Parks), digital resources ( or funding streams (National Endowment for the Humanities).
I find it ironic that on this day in 1890 the Yosemite National Park was dedicated in California and here, on that same day, in 2013 the Government shutdown is closing that park for an indeterminate period.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Digital Sudan: cultural heritage revived & preserved

Offering a new view of Sudan to the world and to itself through digitisation.

by Marilyn Deegan

"Documentary heritage reflects the diversity of languages, peoples and cultures. It is the mirror of the world and its memory. But this memory is fragile. Every day, irreplaceable parts of this memory disappear for ever."    UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.


Simon’s blog post on the destruction of cultural heritage in Mali back in January of this year stirred a great deal of interest, and as a direct consequence, he and I have become involved in a project called Digital Sudan, an effort to digitise Sudanese cultural heritage and stop the loss of valuable content though decay and destruction.