Defining Museums

Since 1960, which is the starting point for the Mapping Museums research, UK museum professionals have used five different definitions of museums. It was surprisingly difficult to track down this information so in this post I provide a list of past museum definitions and a brief commentary about their relevance to the Mapping Museums research. […]

Mapping Museums: Why bother?

Readers who have followed our blogs to date may have realised how much work, time, and money is involved in mapping museums across the UK. The team currently comprises of two professors, and two full time researchers, one in computer science and one collecting and analysing data. By the end of its four-year life span, […]

Building the Database

The Mapping Museums project is an interdisciplinary one between Arts and Computer Science and as such a challenge in many ways as discussed in the earlier blog on “Interdisciplinarity“. The project is being run using an iterative and collaborative methodology, as the data collection often leads to new knowledge that needs to be modelled and […]

The Smallest Museum in the UK?

In 1983 the Museums and Galleries Commissions noted ‘many’ of new museums being established across the UK were ‘very small’ enterprises that had ‘been set up in an initial wave of enthusiasm and volunteer effort’. Surveying the sector in 1990, Victor Middleton thought that by far the majority were ‘very small’ and the historian Raphael […]

Interdisciplinarity

When Fiona Candlin and I first met up in 2015 to discuss the possibility of a research project that would create a database and visualisations relating to the UK’s independent museums sector, I was immediately intrigued. I knew from my previous experiences working on interdisciplinary projects to build specialist knowledge bases that this would be […]

AIM! I’m going to map forever…

Last week the Mapping Museums team attended the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) annual conference hosted at Chatham Historic Dockyard. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the foundation of AIM, which itself gives a good indication as to the moment when the growth of independent museums began to gather pace. As our project is […]