Collections in the Landscape – interpreting collections using digital technologies
Last year Buxton Museum and Art Gallery was awarded a Stage One Pass of £81,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This money has allowed the museum to explore new ways of interpreting our collection using digital technology and social media. The beauty of the Stage One funding is that we have been able to investigate options and test things out, including experimenting with blogs, twitter, HistoryPin and Google Open Gallery.
Alongside using existing platforms the museum has created four digital trails which can be assessed for free on computers and smartphones.
The trails feature museum objects, photographs and audio and link our collections to the landscape. We have created digital trails for the Neolithic stone circle at Arbor Low, Dovedale and two trails in Buxton, one looking at the towns watery heritage and the other at memories of shopping on the town’s high street.The trails were designed for different audiences including families, tourists and local residents.
Creating the trail apps
Creating the apps has been an interesting process and we have had to photograph and research objects and places. Creating the audio for the apps was particularly time consuming, some of the apps use scripted narration while others contain oral histories or interviews with experts.
We tested the apps with the target audiences on various testing days. This involved observing people using the apps as well as running focus groups to collect feedback. We wanted to know what people thought of the content, the apps usability and how they could be improved.
The feedback has been invaluable and we have fed this into the museum’s Stage Two HLF bid which, if we are successful, will allow us to improve the current apps and add a further six trails to the offer.
Pilot project evaluation and try the apps
Find out more
To find out more about the project contact Anna Rhodes, Assistant Collections Officer at Anna.Rhodes@derbyshire.gov.uk.