Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A New Approach to Measuring Impact for Digitised Resources: do they change people’s lives?


This is a work in progress - more my notes and queries than a proper paper, stuff will change, references will be added. I wanted most to get this out there and to get your views, your inputs and your insights. Please comment, your thoughts are valued!

My recent research with Marilyn Deegan into the value and impact of digitised collections has shown that there is a serious lack of adequate means to assess impact in this sector and thus a lack of significant evidence beyond the anecdotal, number crunching from webometrics or evaluations of outputs rather than outcomes (http://www.kdcs.kcl.ac.uk/innovation/inspiring.html). In short, we need better evidence of impact. How has the digital resource delivered a positive change in a defined group of people’s lives or life opportunities?

Monday, 5 March 2012

Owning Your Museum

I was struck by this interesting video from Glasgow Museum about their resource storage facility and how it is one of the most open and publicly accessible museum storage spaces in the world and the biggest in Europe. See here for more about it.
They have over 1.2 million items in their collection and as I noted in my research report into impact it is valued at over £1.4 billion, making it the single biggest fiscal asset held by Glasgow.

The Scottish people own this museum, but only 2-3% of it is ever on display at any given time. That's why it is great that they are digitising portions of it so we can gain access to otherwise unseen content. But the physical access to this storage space to see the artefacts is equally important. The materiality of museums and collections cannot and will not be replaced by digital access.

Recently I took my kids to the V&A museum and we had a fabulous time in the Sackler Centre and then we roamed the galleries and halls.