Unlocking Collections

Unlocking Collections
18 March 2021, 6.00pm - 7.15pm

Convenors: Professor Clare Lees, Director of the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, and Professor Bill Sherman, Director of the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study

As museums, archives, and libraries adapt to a series of lockdowns, we have a stronger sense than ever of the challenges involved in providing access to the objects that carry our collective memories. While one-way routes and Perspex shields may be new, the complexities around acquiring, preserving, finding, and using collections are not:

  • How can we give access to the vast number of objects in storage?
  • How are institutions showing the hidden histories of their collections (attending to marginalised communities, scientific mysteries, and so on)?
  • How can similar objects in different collections be brought together?
  • What new tools are emerging for recording and sharing cultural heritage?
  • How are researchers engaging with and making innovative use of collections?

Confirmed speakers: 

Rebecca Bailey (Head of Exhibitions and Outreach for Historic Environment Scotland and Programme Director for ‘Towards a National Collection’)

Rebecca has long been a leading voice in collections-based research and public engagement for Scotland’s national heritage. For the next five years she is leading the AHRC’s £18.9m programme devoted to dissolving barriers between institutions and opening UK heritage to the world.

Catherine Ince (Chief Curator, V& A East) 
Catherine Ince is Chief Curator of V&A East, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new museum and collection centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. She joined the V&A after 5 years at the Barbican and 4 at the British Council (where she was Curator and Acting Director of the Architecture, Design and Fashion Department). She is a trustee of the Architecture Foundation and Chair of Kingston University’s Stanley Picker Gallery and Dorich House Museum.

Adam Lowe (Founder, Factum Foundation)
Adam is an artist and inventor who is widely considered the world’s leading figure in the fields of fabrication and reproduction, devoted both to the making of new things and the preservation of old things. In collaboration with EPFL and Fondazione Cini, he has recently launched a centre called ARCHiVe (Analysis and Recording of Cultural Heritage in Venice).

Catriona Cannon (Deputy Librarian and Keeper of Collections, Bodleian Libraries)

Catriona has leadership and management accountability for Bodleian libraries and learning spaces, special collections, the Libraries' research unit for heritage science, the public engagement programme, information skills training and liaison with the academic community. She is Co-Investigator of Opening the Edgeworth Papers and was Principal Investigator for the Centre for Digital Scholarship research project. She is GLAM Liaison Fellow for Parks College. She has published and presented on resource discovery, collection management, open access to scholarly publications and legal deposit, and curated a display on the 20th-century novelist Barbara Pym.

Maria Fusco (Professor of Fine Art, Dundee)

Maria is a Belfast-born interdisciplinary writer working across art writing, fiction, performance and theory. Her practice-led research is award-winning, has been translated into twelve languages and is commissioned by leading international bodies and publishers including: Artangel, Art Metropole (Toronto), BBC Radio 4, Book Works, Creative Time (NY), National Theatre Wales, Routledge and funded by bodies such as the AHRC, Arts Council England, Art Fund, The Carnegie Trust, Creative Scotland and The Wellcome Trust

This event is free, but booking is required. Details about how to join the virtual meet-up will be circulated 24 hours in advance via email to registered attendees.

'Open for Discussion’ Conversation Series further sessions:
Thursday, 22 April 2021 Transnational Perspectives on Building a Post-Covid Society I
Thursday, 27 April 2021 Transnational Perspectives on Building a Post-Covid Society II
May 2021 Open Cities
June 2021 Opening the Door to a More Engaged Humanities (Series Conclusion)


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