Museums Change Lives (or do they?)

This Monday past I went to the launch of the UK Museums Association’s ‘Museums Change Lives’ vision document.  And I will say that as ever, it is nice to hear and read a good few confident assertions of why our work as (museums) professionals actually matters.   And it is good to have a large organisation … Continue reading Museums Change Lives (or do they?)

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The People’s Charter for Interpretation

One of the unexpected outcomes of my current research into heritage interpretation and public benefit is that visitors actually tell me what they expect of interpretation.  I didn’t start out with this in mind; perhaps in my own version of researcher’s arrogance it didn’t even occur to me that they would be able to articulate … Continue reading The People’s Charter for Interpretation

So how about interpreting mutual understanding?

Next month I’ll be presenting a paper at the NAI/IE joint conference entitled ‘Interpretation can make us citizens of the world’ in Sweden. I’m really looking forward to what people will say about this topic.  As I’ve reported in my last blog post, only one couple out of the 100+ people I’ve interviewed so far … Continue reading So how about interpreting mutual understanding?

Heritage and Public Benefit: What visitors have told me so far.

I’m three-thirds through my interviews with visitors at Battle Abbey [1], and this seemed a good time to stop for a moment and reflect.   Firstly, and as always, it is just humbling to talk to visitors. Every time I have the luxury of actually spending time with them, I am reminded that in the … Continue reading Heritage and Public Benefit: What visitors have told me so far.

 Museums 2020 and the Public: Not quite in harmony

Last week, the UK Museums Association published the research report into what the public think are the purposes of museums. I’ve blogged about the announcement of the research, and especially the brief for it, here.   I was particularly interested in their methodology [1].  My concerns were that the framework established in the brief would … Continue reading  Museums 2020 and the Public: Not quite in harmony

A View from the Outside: The Arts Council’s Review of Museum Research

I have recently read the Arts Council England ‘Review of Research and Literature on Museums and Libraries’, compiled in September last year just before the Arts Council took over the responsibilities of the now-disbanded Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.  The review was part of an endeavour to ‘understand the needs and priorities of the sectors’ … Continue reading A View from the Outside: The Arts Council’s Review of Museum Research

QCF – A case for interpreters

The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is well established across Britain.  In the words of Ofqual, the body that administers the framework, it aims to provide ‘a simple yet flexible’ qualifications system that is ‘inclusive, responsive, accessible [and] non-bureaucratic’. What does it have to do with interpretation, you wonder? That’s simple: it’s another way of … Continue reading QCF – A case for interpreters

For Them and By Them: Involving Stakeholders and Communities in Interpretation

Last week, the Heritage Lottery Fund approved a grant for a project I’m planning that involves young people in the heritage of my site, and its interpretation.  I am hugely excited about this.  For one thing, the project is all about interpretation as facilitation, as I explained in a recent post [1].  The other aspect … Continue reading For Them and By Them: Involving Stakeholders and Communities in Interpretation

Interpretation is… benefit-driven

I am currently researching how we deliver public benefit through heritage management and interpretation in England and Germany.  Reading through the legislation that provides the framework for heritage is quite interesting.  On the national level, people (the public) have been conspicuously absent from official heritage practices for many decades.  The values identified by the legislation … Continue reading Interpretation is… benefit-driven