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Institute for Cultural Practices

Projects

Explore a selection of our current and past research projects.

 

Completed projects

Afterlife of Heritage Research

Developing research students' and Early Careers Researchers' skills for the transition from academia to public, profession and business (2012-13)

Lead Researchers: Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester), Professor Helen Rees Leahy (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester) and Dr Anna Catalani (University of Salford).

Funding body: AHRC. Amount: £59,811.50.

Collaborating Institutions: The University of Manchester; University of Salford; Manchester Museum; Whitworth Art Gallery; Manchester Beacon; Renaissance NW.

Project summary

The 'Afterlife of Heritage Research' Skills Training Project (March 2012 – November 2013; funded by the AHRC and led by the Institute for Cultural Practices at the University of Manchester) supported more than fifty research students and early career researchers (ECRs) in developing skills, capacity and profiles for professional careers in the heritage sector. The project’s tailored training provision (including skills workshops, collaborative public engagement projects, work placements in cultural institutions and industrial mentoring) assisted students and ECRs in identifying, understanding and 'translating' the benefits of their heritage research in 'real-life' public, professional and business contexts.

The training programme produced four self-completion training guides that were informed by the interaction between partners and the students' and ECRs' experiences in collaborating with cultural organisations and professionals. The guides as well as reflective blog posts and short documentary films aim to: assist humanities research students and ECRs in exploring how public engagement and research placements can benefit them, their research, and the relevance of their research to non-expert audiences; help students and ERCs think creatively about possible business or enterprise prospects of their research; contribute to the training provision offered by Researcher Development teams at UK Universities; and enable cultural organisations to design and run.

Films

Publications and other outputs

Researcher's Guide to Engagement

This self-completion guide has been designed for researchers who are new to, or have some experience of public engagement. It will allow you to:

  • explore how public engagement can benefit you, your research, and the public with whom you engage
  • discover the range of activities you can use to engage the public with your research
  • understand the benefits of working with cultural organisations
  • investigate the needs of different publics, explore potential engagement challenges, and identify solutions for overcoming them
  • put your knowledge and skills into action to design and plan a public engagement activity.

You can work through the guide independently or use it as a trigger for discussion with your supervisor or fellow researchers

Researcher's Guide to Placements

This self-completion guide has been designed for researchers who are new to, or have some experience of research placements. It will allow you to:

  • explore how research placements can benefit you, your research, and the public with whom you engage
  • discover the range of placement opportunities available
  • understand the benefits of working with cultural organisations
  • design meaningful placements which directly benefit your research and the cultural organisation with whom you work
  • reflect on the research placement process and identify ways of applying the knowledge gained in your research, and other contexts

You can work through the guide independently or use it as a trigger for discussion with your supervisor, cultural organisation or fellow researchers.

Cultural Partners' Guide to Placements

This self-completion guide has been designed for cultural organisations who are new to, or have some experience of working with researchers. It will allow you to:

  • explore how research placements can benefit your organisation, and the public with whom you engage
  • discover the range of placement opportunities which can be offered to researchers
  • understand the benefits of working with researchers
  • design meaningful placements which directly benefit your organisation and the researchers with whom you work
  • reflect on the research placement process and identify ways of applying the knowledge gained in your organisation, and other contexts

You can work through the guide independently or use it as a trigger for discussion with your supervisor, cultural organisation or fellow researchers.

Workshops

  • 'Afterlife of Heritage Research' Showcase, 29 October 2013
  • From Research to Business, 15 March 2013
  • From Research to Profession, 6 March 2013
  • Working with and training Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers, 28 February 2013
  • Understanding the public impact of your research, 24 January 2013

Archives+

Interpretation concept (2012-13)

Lead researchers: Dr Kostas Arvanitis, Dr Helen Rees Leahy and Julian Hartley (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester).

Funding body: Manchester City Council and Renaissance NW.

Collaborating institutions: Greater Manchester County Record Office (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities); Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives (Manchester City Council); North West Film Archive (Manchester Metropolitan University); Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust (The University of Manchester); Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society; BFI Mediatheque; and Manchester Registration Service (Historic Registers).

Summary of consultancy project

The Centre for Museology (Institute for Cultural Practices) was commissioned in 2011 by Manchester City Council and Renaissance NW to research and develop an interpretation concept for the Archives+ partnership. Archives+ brings together Manchester’s largest archives and records in the redeveloped Manchester Central Library. The team developed a concept that aimed to express the aspirations for Archives+ and inform the design of the physical spaces for the archives, activities and displays. The interpretation concept was also informed by relevant and good practice and took into consideration the realities, aims, practices and challenges of the partners, the physical environment of the Library, the nature of the collections and the users’ needs.

Publications and other outputs

Arvanitis, K., Rees Leahy, H. and Hartley, J. 2011. 'The Everyday, Relational and Emotive Archive'Archives+ Project Report and Interpretation Concept. Manchester City Council and University of Manchester [unpublished].

Beyond the Campus

Connecting Knowledge and Creative Practice Communities Across Higher Education and the Creative Economy (2012 – 2014)

Lead Researchers: Dr Abigail Gilmore (ICP, University of Manchester); Dr Roberta Comunian (King’s College London).

Funding Body: AHRC Connected Communities (PI Comunian; Co-I Gilmore); and AHRC Creative Economy (PI Gilmore; Co-I Comunian).

Amount: £41,970 (AHRC Connected Communities) and £9,845.20 (AHRC Creative Economy).

Collaborating Institutions: The University of Manchester; King’s College London.

Casual research assistants: Jack Welsh.

Collaborating artists: Alys Scott Hawkins, Robin Bini Schneider.

Project summary

This AHRC Connected Communities Research Network aims to:

  1. Compile a literature review of existing research which aims to address the role of knowledge exchange and collaboration across academia and the creative and cultural sector;
  2. Develop an open knowledge platform which acts as point to reference in the work of academics and practitioners in this areas, with case studies, links, interviews working papers and policy briefings;
  3. Through systematic analysis, develop a clearer articulation of the relationship between A&H teaching and research and the creative economy, based on data collected through the project, interviews and seminar presentations;
  4. Explore international perspectives on the 'creative campus', and in particular the Australian context, in order to understand different approaches and opportunities coming from outside UK. 

The network has held five workshops, including two in Australia, which have brought together creative practitioners and academics to discuss different aspects of collaboration and partnership across the two sectors on and off-campus. The case studies, presentations and discussions from these workshops are featured on the project website and in future publications.

We have also presented new creative collaborative work coming out of this research through the AHRC Creative Economy showcase, including a short film by Alys Scott Hawkins and graphic illustration by Robin Bini Schneider: Love Story: The Project.

The project culminated in summer 2014 with a major international conference and the publication a special edition of the International Journal of Cultural Policy next year. For more information see Creative Campus and follow @HeCreativeCon on Twitter.

@CultureFM

Pilot programmes (2012)

Lead Researcher: Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester).

Collaborating Institutions: The University of Manchester, Manchester Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Libraries and Archives+.

Project summary

CultureFM is a pilot arts, culture and heritage 'radio-twitter station' initiative that aims to inject Radio characteristics into Twitter interaction. CultureFM offers a programme of ratio-twitter programmes, featuring TweetJockeys (TJs) from cultural institutions including archive, gallery, library and museum professionals, visitors, students, ‘character’ TJs and guests TJs. Through this merging of Radio and Twitter, CultureFM aims to create different ways of perceiving, using and interacting over Twitter and explore how this can enhance digital engagement in arts and cultural organisations.

The research aims to explore the following questions:

  • To what extent does this 'multiply personalised' twitter stream address the interests/needs of different followers?
  • What 'following patterns' does this use of twitter encourage? (e.g. do people 'tune-in' at a particular time to see/interact with the tweets of their 'favourite' TJ? Do they go back at a later time to read through the tweets of a particular CultureFM programme? Are they interested in the particular content? Does the CultureFM station encourage the formation of 'communities of followers'?)
  • What opportunities does it offer to institutions to engage with and expand the reach of their twitter followers?
  • How can this use of twitter give institutions' social media spaces a varied character and brand?
  • How can CultureFM help bridge the onsite with the online space/activity of the institution?
  • How do CultureFM TJs perceive their role and how does their participation impact on their professional practice?

Publications and other outputs

  • CultureFM: "Re-negotiating the value and practices of 'broadcasting' in cultural knowledge creation and communication". Digital Humanities Conference, Manchester, 8 November 2013

Culture Metrics

A shared approach to measuring quality (2014-15)

Lead Researchers: Dr Abi Gilmore and Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester).

Funding Body: Digital R&D Fund for the Arts: Big Data. Amount: £300,000.

Collaborating Institutions: Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester, Cornerhouse (Lead Partner), The Royal Exchange Theatre, Contact Theatre, The Manchester Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, Halle Concerts Society, Imperial War Museum North, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Jazz Festival, Chinese Arts Centre, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Manchester Literature Festival, P Pracsys and Intelligence Agency.

Project summary

The ICP is a the research partner in this sector-led project which aims to create a standardized and aggregatable metric system which measures what the cultural sector believes are the key dimensions of quality. The project deals primarily with the measurement of intrinsic impact of arts on culture around a standardised set of definition and metrics. The project also explores methods of combining intrinsic and instrumental impacts together in an on-line measurement framework - served to artists, stakeholders, decision-makers and the general public in real time so that it becomes essential to the everyday management of arts activity. If this goal is achieved, then the project also opens up the possibility to aggregate impacts across art forms, funding programs, geographies, time periods, or any other abstract characteristics.

The technologies applied to this project take advantage of recent advances in mobile applications and web-served databases. By gathering real-time intrinsic impact data from artists, peers and the public; and combining it with traditional instrumental data on attendances, funding, box office, etc; and secondary demographics of audiences and communities of interest, it is possible to deliver comprehensive value analysis and reporting on a continuous basis. This has the potential to augment and possibly replace existing periodic application and acquittal processes for arts funding of all types.

The project by harnessing the power of the network and technology platforms aims to create high volume, high velocity data on the impact of our work that will have high credibility and relevance to the arts sector, our peers, publics, funders, and the policy and academic community.

The ICP has developed two strands of research enquiry in this project. Each strand includes a literature and evidence review, critical friends' group and accompanying workshop, to explore the two main innovations of this project and provide a deeper, more critical understanding of the contexts and issues of their conception and use:

  • Co-producing cultural value – researching the broader context of cultural performance management, peer review and co-production and
  • Big data, better value? – A critical examination of mechanisms for establishing and using big data sets in capturing cultural experiences, and driving data driven decisions/performance appraisal processes within cultural organisations.

Digital Heritage

Research training initiative (2008-10)

Lead Researcher: Dr Kostas Arvanitis (CI) (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester).

Funding Body: AHRC. Amount: £52,512.

Collaborating Institutions: University of Leicester (PI); The University of Manchester, Newcastle University; University of Glasgow; The Collections Trust.

Project summary

The 'Digital Heritage Research Training Initiative' aimed to design and produce a series of online research skills units (with accompanying teacher/supervisor/trainer notes) targeted at researchers working with digital media in heritage contexts. In producing these research skills units, the aim of the initiative has been to bring together the expertise of these institutions to help meet the new skills requirements of a new generation of researchers working with digital, mobile and social media. Drawing upon the partnership’s experience of producing learning materials, the eight units (each between 8,000-10,000 words, structured around a series of activities and discussions, and each representing around 14 hours of study time) cover the subjects below.

Publications and other outputs

Online research skills units:

  • Disseminating your research with digital media
  • Harnessing the digital heritage community as a research tool
  • Using social media in research
  • Tools for evaluating museum websites
  • Finding and using digital images
  • Finding and using heritage databases
  • Using your mobile phone as a research tool
  • Aggregating and organising your digital resources

Gaskell's House

Manchester Pilot Project, John Rylands Research Institute (2013-14)

Lead Researcher: Professor Helen Rees Leahy, The University of Manchester. 

Collaborating Institutions: Elizabeth Gaskell's House.

Project summary

84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, was the home of Elizabeth and William Gaskell from 1850 until their respective deaths in 1865 and 1884. Subsequently, their daughters, Meta and Julia Bradford, lived in the house until Meta herself died in 1913, having outlived her younger sister for five years. Nothing came of early attempts to preserve the house as a museum to Elizabeth Gaskell: it was occupied by successive owners until in 2004 it was bought by the Manchester Historic Buildings Trust (MHBT). Under the auspices of the Trust, and with a grant of £1.85m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, 84 Plymouth Grove was restored and opened to the public in October 2014.

Helen Rees Leahy was Curatorial Adviser to the project (2012-2014), with a brief to research and develop the displays of objects, texts and images at Plymouth Grove and their interpretation – and to develop collaborative partnerships for the exchange of knowledge and expertise regarding the Gaskells, their house, activities and networks, and the co-production of research and its dissemination. The opening of Elizabeth Gaskell’s House as a resource for general visitors, students and specialist researchers provided an opportunity to further investigate and promote the wealth of Gaskell material and knowledge that resides in Manchester institutions, especially the Gaskell mss and archive collections in the Rylands Special Collections. The project included a programme of digitization, research, display and publication, based on the Gaskell collections in the Rylands.

This work continues with an ongoing programme of research, dissemination and publications, including reflections on the processes of (re)creating a historic house museum.

Related conference papers

  • Helen Rees Leahy, 'The Pleasures and Paradoxes of House Museums', keynote lecture at Houses as museums/museums as houses conference, Wallace Collection, London, September 2014.
  • Helen Rees Leahy, 'A Sense of Place: Authenticity and Imagination at Elizabeth Gaskell's House', keynote lecture atPlacing the Author. Literary Tourism in the Long Nineteenth Century conference, Elizabeth Gaskell's House, Manchester, June 2015.

Learning from the Past

Cultural Value, Then and Now, In Principle and Practice (2014)

Lead Researcher: Professor Helen Rees Leahy (ICP, University of Manchester).

Funding Body: AHRC. Amount: £37,341.74.

Collaborating Institutions: The University of Manchester; Manchester Museum; Manchester Art Gallery; Whitworth Art Gallery.

Research Associate: Dr Rob McCombe.

Project summary

'Learning from the Past' (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Cultural Value Project) investigated whether and how an understanding of the ways in which cultural value was conceived, promoted and experienced in the past can illuminate how it is conceived, promoted and experienced today. The focus was on the claims made for the benefits of visiting exhibitions and museums in the city of Manchester, from the mid-19th century to 2010. The project addressed the histories of range of scientific and art exhibitions: the Manchester Art Museum, the Manchester Museum, the Manchester Art Gallery, and the Whitworth Art Gallery.

Find out more

Please contact Helen Rees Leahy (helen.rees@manchester.ac.uk) if you would like a copy of the project report.

Museum Archaeology

Mash-up Archaeology: Aggregating Web Content on Museum Archaeology and Archaeological Heritage (2008-10)

Lead Researchers: Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester) and Professor Siân Jones (Archaeology, The University of Manchester).

Funding body: Higher Education Academy. Amount: £2,995.

Project summary

Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester) and Professor Siân Jones (Archaeology, The University of Manchester) were awarded a Teaching Development Grantby the Higher Education Academy (Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology) for a project titled 'Mash-up Archaeology: Aggregating Web Content on Museum Archaeology and Archaeological Heritage'. 

The project involved the development of a website that aggregates automatically web content relevant to postgraduate and undergraduate study of archaeology and museum studies. The project's website provides an active environment for teaching and learning, which is not merely about providing content, but also facilitates the development of students' skills in evaluation and critical thinking of online material on museum archaeology and archaeological heritage.

Publications and other outputs

  • Arvanitis, K. and S. Jones. 'Mash-up Archaeology: issues in aggregating online archaeological heritage content for teaching and learning', in Teaching and Learning in Archaeology, Higher Education Academy, Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology, Birbeck College London.

Music Histories

Manchester Music Education Histories (2013)

Lead researcher: Dr Abigail Gilmore.

Funding body: AHRC (Cultural Engagement).

Collaborating Institutions: The University of Manchester, Manchester Histories Festival, Royal Northern College of Music, the Halle Orchestra, Brighter Sound and One Education (the music education hub for Manchester).

Project summary

This project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their Cultural Engagement programme. It aimed to provide researcher development, peer learning and public engagement training in the context of a short project, as part of Manchester Histories Festival (MHF).

The project involved early career researchers (ECRs) – PhD students close to completion or recently completed - from the subject areas of Music and History respectively – and recruited three researchers (Sian Derry, James Hume and Thomas Scriven) in 2013. The ECRs undertook a programme of research, drawing on their own research skills and experience, to prepare public engagement materials in close collaboration with a number of music organisations in Manchester. 

Publications and other outputs

The main project output was the development of public engagement and learning resources on the histories and heritage of music education in Manchester. The researchers used oral history, archival and other research methods to explore three main periods in Manchester’s history when different pedagogic, programming and institutional practices for music education were formed.

The work was showcased at the Histories Festival on 27 March 2014 at the Concerts for the People event in Halle St. Peters:

Older Audiences

Digital Cultural Engagement of Older Audiences (2013-14)

Lead Researchers: Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester) and Dr Anna Catalani (University of Lincoln).

Funding Body: MICRA and Manchester City Council. Amount: £8,821.28.

Collaborating Institutions: University of Manchester; University of Lincoln; Manchester Museum; Manchester Art Gallery; Whitworth Art Gallery; Gallery of Costume Platt Hall; John Rylands University Library.

Project summary

The ageing of the population is one of the most important demographic changes in history. According to the 2011 census, 16% of the UK population is over 65 years old (Office for National Statistics, 2012). It is expected that by 2035 25% of the UK population will be aged 65 or over (Medical Research Council, 2010). These important demographic changes and the needs of this increasing population group have become a major priority to be addressed by policy makers. There is also strong evidence that suggests that involvement with cultural activities has benefits for people in older age, such as: lower mortality, better physical health and well-being, fewer depressive symptoms and higher cognitive function (Jivraj, Nazroo & Barnes, 2012; O'Neill, 2010). Cultural organisations (such as art galleries, archives, libraries and museums) have demonstrated how they can benefit people's health and well-being (Froggett, 2011; Holding Memories, [website]; Happy Museum, [website]). However, related cultural practice hasn’t been fully explored and adopted and there is evidence that this may impact negatively on older people’s cultural participation (Nightingale, 2010; LEM 2011). For example, according to the Taking Part survey, older people are still less likely to visit museums than the rest of the population (DCMS, 2012).

At the same time, the cultural sector is increasingly turning to digital media to enhance people’s onsite, online and on-the-move engagement with its content (Arvanitis, 2010; Cameron and Kerendine, 2007; Parry, 2007). Anecdotal evidence by reviewing relevant projects suggests that most of this development has either no specific target audiences or focuses primarily on younger audiences. As a result, in the process of developing a more digitally mediated cultural offer, the sector is in danger of alienating older audiences and not considering opportunities that digital media may offer for supporting their cultural participation.

The project's cultural partners have been involved in several initiatives and activities for older audiences and visitors, including outreach and engagement opportunities that are enabled or supported by digital media. Drawing on this work, this project aims to evaluate the relevance, reception, benefits and challenges of any digital media-enabled engagement practices of Manchester cultural organisations for older audiences and visitors. Based on this, it aims to provide an initial outline of the relevance and impact of the arts and cultural sector’s adoption of digital, mobile and social media on older people. The research considers onsite, online and on-the-move visitor engagement opportunities and related digital media applications. Challenges and limitations for the organisations themselves are also considered. Current and best practice are investigated with the aim of understanding how cultural organisations in general can use digital media to enhance opportunities for older people's participation in and engagement with their offer.

Research activity

  • Benchmarking and Literature: it aims to map existing theory and practice in both engaging older audiences with cultural content and the use of digital media towards that.
  • A qualitative investigation of needs, interests and challenges of older audiences in cultural settings, where digital media is used for interpretation and engagement purposes (includes: observation of users of interpretive digital media provided at spaces and activities of the project’s cultural partners; and in depth and semi-structured interviews and focus groups with users and non-users of the digital media applications
  • A small number of stakeholder interviews to gauge their perceptions and approaches in engaging older audiences with cultural content and the role of digital media in this process.
  • Two round-table project partner workshops: for current and best practice in engaging older people and using digital media. Workshop 1: 'Catering for older audiences'; Workshop 2: 'Engaging older audiences via digital media'.

Researching the New

Pilot knowledge exchange project (2013)

Lead Researcher: Professor Helen Rees Leahy (ICP, The University of Manchester).

Funding body: Faculty of Humanities Strategic Investment Resource Fund (SIRF). Amount: £12,074.

Project summary

Researching the New was a pilot knowledge exchange project (funded by the Faculty of Humanities Strategic Investment Resource Fund (SIRF)) that investigated the relationships between new cultural spaces, practices and audiences, particularly in the context of current capital development projects in Manchester. What lessons can we learn from organisations that have renewed their organisational practice – and their relationship with their audiences – though experimental processes of artistic production and new forms of participation?

Research themes included:

  • processes and models of cultural and organizational renewal and innovation
  • new and experimental practices of engagement with audiences, artists and stakeholders
  • issues of sustainability in terms of programme, space and audience
  • thinking about space as social practice
  • the understanding and uses of history in relation to contemporary practice

Each of these themes was explored via a research process, which included both conventional methodologies (interviews, fieldtrips, literature review) and also less familiar approaches (film-making, an extended conversation on twitter).

Find out more

Museums and Restitution

International conference (2010)

Lead researchers: Dr Louise Tythacott (School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London) and Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester).

Project summary

Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester) and Dr Louise Tythacott (School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London) organised in collaboration with the Manchester Museum an international conference on 'Museums and Restitution', on 8th-9th July 2010.

The conference brought together 107 museum professionals, policy makers, consultants, academics and postgraduate students from around the world (Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Nigeria, Norway, UK and USA) to examine the issue of restitution in relation to the changing role and authority of the museum, focusing on new ways in which these institutions are addressing the subject. The 30 presented papers were structured around 8 themes: Power, Politics Authority; Reflections on returns; Digital, visual and knowledge repatriation; Local and national power relations; Second World War spoliation; The Parthenon Marbles; Africa and India; and North America. Speakers included:

  • Kokie Agbontaen-Eghafona (University of Benin)
  • Tristram Besterman (writer, adviser and mediator on museums and cultural issues)
  • Neil Curtis (Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen)
  • Maurice Davies (Museums Association)
  • Eava-Kristiina Harlin and Anne May Olli (Norwegian Sámi museum RiddoDuottarMuseat)
  • Jonathan King (British Museum)
  • Eleni Korka (Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism)
  • Conal McCarthy (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
  • Laura Peers (Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
  • Helen Robbins (The Field Museum, Chicago)
  • Sophia Sambono (National Film and Sound Archive, Australia)

The conference included a reception with films relating to restitution and a Q+A session with Andrew Dismore, former MP for Hendon, who introduced and steered recent legislation on the return of cultural objects (The Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Bill), Charles Goldstein, Counsel for the Commission for Art Recovery, and Freda Matassa, an Expert Adviser to the Minister of Culture on Immunity from Seizure applications. The closing session of the conference was chaired by the Deputy Director of the UK Museums Association.

Publications and other outputs

Book

Book reviews

Conference paper

  • 'Reflections on the Museums and Restitution Conference 8 - 9 July 2010, University of Manchester', Museums Association Conference, 4 - 6 October 2010

Review of conference

UMI3 Social Enterprise

Mapping Manchester Music (2012)

Lead Researchers: Dr Abigail Gilmore and Kate Campbell-Payne.

Funding Body: UMI³, The University of Manchester.

Project summary

This project was the result of successful pitch in a UMI3 competition for social enterprise funding in 2012. The project aimed to produce a digital self-guided tour of key sites in Manchester’s music history, using an interactive mapping methodology and digital geo-annotation through location-based digital media. This followed a series of small scale R & D projects including UniverCityCulture which produced annotated maps of academic research; MMXII Mapping Manchester, a part of the Manchester Histories Festival programme, which included maps and a city-wide pervasive 'public engagement' game; Histonauts, which engaged 35 'gamers' in uncovering and reporting Manchester's secret histories, and making and sharing digital content.

The project was developed and proposed jointly by Abi and Kate Campbell-Payne, graduate of MA Arts Management, Policy and Practice, who commissioned the development of the Manchester Music Map as a result. Kate now manages the site, which is promoted through Twitter and through off-line events including a music edition of Histonauts for the Manchester Histories Festival 2014.

UniverCity Culture

Mapping Manchester Digitally with University teaching and research (2011)

Lead Researchers: Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester) and Dr Abigail Gilmore (Centre for Arts Management and Cultural Policy, Institute for Cultural Practices, The University of Manchester) .

Funding body: Faculty of Humanities, The University of Manchester. Amount: £6,816.76.

Project summary

New students to the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC) routinely cite the city of Manchester, its cultural scenes, 'buzz' and heritage as one of the main reasons for choosing the University as their place of study. At the same time, the University produces an incredible volume of work on the urban culture of Manchester, its cultural and creative assets, heritage sites and spaces through student projects, dissertations and staff research. Very often this work is unknown beyond the relevant academic circles, and both prospective and current students are unaware of either previous or current work on Manchester culture by other students or staff. This potentially creates the false first impression that the University is not actively engaging with the city's culture and heritage institutions in teaching and research.

This project aimed to tackle this discrepancy by making University research on Manchester's cultural practices and places more visible to prospective and current students. By doing so, this project connected the students, their University and their work to the city, its culture and heritage. The project used off the shelf and freely available web-based and mobile technologies to digitally annotate Manchester's cultural/historic/heritage environment with information on student projects, dissertations and staff research outputs. With more students arriving to the University with mobile 'smart' phones, accustomed to experiencing and navigating the city through online maps and GPS technologies, it is important to create opportunities for them to connect with the city and the University through a familiar medium. Google Maps and the mobile application Foursquare were used to annotate the city. These annotations are available to anyone using the SALC Google map and 'checking in' those places through Foursquare. By leaving digital 'tips' and information about studies and projects that are tied to particular cultural and heritage sites (e.g. museums, galleries, archives, art organisations and monuments), this project has fostered SALC students' identity and enrich prospective and current students' understanding and experience of cultural and heritage sites by showcasing the variety and richness of related University work.

Project aims

  • Demonstrate to prospective and current students the variety and richness of University of Manchester teaching and research related to the city's culture and heritage
  • Annotate cultural, historic and heritage places of Manchester with brief information on University of Manchester (SALC) student projects and dissertations and staff research activities that examine historical, social, community and other aspects of those places
  • Provide these annotations through web- and mobile-based mapping platforms (Google maps and Foursquare)
  • Increase visibility and relevance of the University teaching and research to the city

Publications and other outputs

  • Arvanitis, K. 2012. 'Crowd-sourced geo-annotation in University teaching and learning', Teaching & Learning News, Faculty of Humanities, pp.4-6 (October)

Virtual Curating

'Curators in Residence': Hidden archaeological sites and 'virtual curating'

Lead researcher: Dr Kostas Arvanitis (Centre for Museology, Institute for Cultural Practices, University of Manchester).

Project summary

Hundreds of archaeological sites exist 'out of sight', beneath modern developments (usually blocks of flats) in Greek cities. Those archaeological remains are found during construction processes and due to their archaeological significance they are preserved in situ, usually in basements of new buildings. The local Archaeological Departments ('Ephoreia') of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture are responsible for safeguarding, preserving and monitoring the remains, which are usually not accessible to the public.

This research aims to engage residents of buildings with the interpretation and presentation of antiquities preserved under modern buildings via the use of digital media. Through the active involvement of residents and the application of digital technologies, Kostas aims to develop a decentralised network of volunteer 'virtual curators' that would contribute towards a collaborative, localised and personalised presentation of the 'hidden' archaeological sites. The research will also aim to explore whether through participation in the presentation of built heritage, residents develop a sense of ownership and stewardship of the antiquities. Furthermore, it will investigate the knowledge and narratives residents produce about the sites.

Publications and other outputs

Conference papers

  • '"Towards a museology of the invisible": public archaeological sites in private modern buildings', European Association of Archaeologists Conference, 15 - 20 September 2009, Riva del Garda, Italy
  • 'Domestic Gods: interpreting and visiting public archaeological sites in private modern buildings', Material Worlds, 15 - 17 December 2008, Leicester