Towards a national collection

And no, I don’t mean TaNC …. I’ve been interested in Collection Trust’s plans in this area for some time; these are brought into sharper relief by their recent announcement that they’ll be turning Culture Grid off soon. This post is as much for my use as anything else: I’m using it to pull together resources related to Collections Trust’s work related to museum data aggregation. I expect I’ll keep it updated as I find more.

  • Elea Himmelsbach, Collections Trust – tapping the potential of museum collection data, ODI website, 26 March 2021. ‘Case study exploring the work of Collections Trust, recipient of the ODI’s R&D data access stimulus fund, creating a joined-up approach to sharing, using and preserving digital collections’.
  • Getting It Together homepage, containing:
  • Richard Leeming, An open route map for the museum sector: ‘With the support of the Open Data Institute, Collections Trust is working with the Cisco-backed Preservation to Presentation initiative (P2P) to explore how we might stimulate digital and data leadership across the UK museum sector. P2P’s Richard Leeming explains why.’
  • Kevin Gosling, Tapping the potential of UK museum collections, ‘ODI Fridays’ online talk, 4 December 2020 (thanks to Jack Kirby for the reminder): ‘Back in 1888, the curator of the Yorkshire Museum invited his colleagues around the country to discuss how they might work together to compile “a compendious index of the contents of all provincial museums and collections …”.
    More than a century later, that goal remains elusive, despite there being no insurmountable technical barriers and no shortage of well-funded digital initiatives. It’s an increasingly urgent problem as museums struggle to engage their audiences online; respond to growing calls to decolonise; and even stay in business during lockdown and beyond.
    Supported by ODI’s Stimulus Fund, a project called Get it together: realising the value of museum collections data is trying to build consensus around a framework for data-sharing that responds to sector needs, dovetails with existing initiatives, and pinpoints what still needs to be done. In this lunchtime talk, Kevin Gosling, Chief Executive of Collections Trust, explores how tapping the resources siloed in the databases of 1,700 UK museums would help this data-rich sector survive and thrive in these difficult times.’
  • #ItsGoodToShare blog posts (2017 – date): ‘In its 2016 Culture White Paper the British government said it wanted to “make the UK one of the world’s leading countries for digitised public collections content. We want users to enjoy a seamless experience online, and have the chance to access particular collections in depth as well as search across all collections.” This series of blog posts explores the things museums would do if they could indeed bring together information from across different collections in a seamless and futureproof way.’


  • 10 April 2021: Kevin Gosling’s Tapping the potential … talk added (thanks to Jack Kirby)

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