The third annual UK Museums and the Web Conference will be held at the University of Leicester on April 21 2005.
Organised by the museums computer group (mcg), the conference is entitled The Digital Object: visualisation, interpretation, sustainability, and will examine the opportunities and challenges presented to UK museums by the digital age.
For the second year running the 24 Hour Museum is sponsoring the event and staff from our Brighton office will be heading up to Leicester to take part in the proceedings.
Registration (including a buffet lunch and tea/coffee in the morning and afternoon) is £40, or £30 for mcg members and £15 for concessions. There are tickets left, but places are limited.
"Museum digitisation projects are on the increase and as Britain’s National Virtual Museum we want to encourage debate about the future of online collections," said Jane Finnis, Director of the 24 Hour Museum.
"We are very pleased to be able to sponsor this conference and look forward to an event that promises to promote better ways access to our great UK cultural sector."
The UK cultural sector is a rich source of information and knowledge, but many of its assets don’t make it into physical galleries. However, they can be ideal for the web and in this technological age, the collections our visitors engage with are just as likely to be digital in format.
With this opportunity comes a host of new challenges: how are virtual collections curated? How do we define and address audience expectations?
Drawing together a range of practitioners, consultants, scholars, policy makers and industrialists the UK Museums and the Web conference is squaring up to these major changes and challenges.
The conference is hosted and co-organised by the University of Leicester's Department of Museum Studies.
Chairing a session on publishing the digital object, the 24 Hour Museum will be among the sector leaders pushing the debate along.
"We've had several years now of emphasis on new web technology, databases and the capacity to digitise museum collections," explained 24 Hour Museum Editor Jon Pratty, who will chair the session.
"But what we really need to do now is think about how audiences see museums on the web, and how they compare those offerings with other digital cultural experiences. We've tried to address some of those issues with our own conference session."
Joining Jon will be Patrick Towell, founder and strategic adviser of web-based information management solutions provider Simulacra, and Peter Bale, Online Editorial Director of The Times and Sunday Times, who will examine the challenges and opportunities online publishing offers our cultural institutions.
Among the other sessions taking place throughout the day will be discussions on access to digital objects, valuation and ownership.
Tickets can be booked online by visiting the museums computer group website.