Digital Resources for Museums in relation to Coronavirus
The current evolving climate around Coronavirus is increasingly pointing to a significant decrease in museum visits, and potentially the temporary closure of many sites. At MDEM we are here to support you in returning to ‘business as usual’ but are also here to support you in this unique situation.
Many museums may find themselves with a volunteer workforce unable to attend site or new individuals interested in using their time at home in self-isolation to undertake a volunteering task. Here are some resources if you are wanting to create some opportunities for remote volunteering.
The Museums Association has a wealth of resources and case studies around utilising Digital Volunteers – from Social Media, blogging, transcription and data backlog. This might be applicable for current volunteers who are unable to visit your site, or individuals wanting an opportunity to volunteer whilst themselves in self-isolation.
Two cases studies around digital volunteering, including blogging and transcribing can be found on the Heritage Volunteers Group website. The National Archives currently offer remote volunteering opportunities alongside is on-site projects, such as transcription and desk based research. Other successful volunteering opportunities include social media campaigns and Collections Data Backlog work.
Information on how to recruit new volunteers for a short period of time (also known as Micro-volunteering) can be found on the NCVO website. Within this useful document from Sheffield Volunteer Centre there is a table outlining micro-volunteering opportunities.
Other museums are launching new online digital resources. Hastings Museums are launching a Digital Museum to help combat social isolation and loneliness.
As some families with children are needing to self-isolate, some museums are also providing better links and visibility to their learning resources to aid home schooling activities. Take a look at the GEM resources to support museums in this area.
If you want to look into other digital activity, then Culture 24 have a range of resources. From creating a staff led podcast to improve digital literacy within the team.
Museums Hour is hosting a special on Thursday 19th March at 1pm on Twitter for museum professionals to share examples of digital engagement for the coming months. You need to sing into twitter to access this and follow @MuseumHour #MuseumHour
Some museums are taking to social media to connect with audiences which may not now be able to visit then. The hashtag #MuseumFromHome is being used for museums to post short videos or pictures about their collections and galleries which are interesting and bite sized.
Creating videos or live streaming might be a great option for your museum. The Museum Development London team have made available a presentation they ran on this topic.
We’ll be looking to regularly sign post to new and emerging resources over the coming weeks and months as well as to provide consistent support in returning to ‘business as usual’ as soon as possible for the sector. If you would like to share any resources then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org