Culture Secretary James Purnell with Jane Finnis and John Newbigin of Culture24. © Jon Pratty / Culture24
The organisation that publishes 24 Hour Museum changed its name to Culture24 on November 26 2007, beginning a period of change and development that will see the family of websites rebuilt, renamed and relaunched in spring 2008.
For now though, although the organisation's name changes to Culture24, the current websites stay the same, with the same names and URLs.
The Culture24 name was launched at a celebratory event hosted by Culture Secretary James Purnell at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) office. Also present were Roy Clare, Chief Executive of MLA, Alan Davey (Director of Culture, DCMS) and Bill Morris of LOCOG, (the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games.)
MLA Chief Executive, Roy Clare © Jon Pratty / Culture24
According to James Purnell, the new plans make the most of an exciting cultural opportunity: "What 24 Hour Museum is doing changes individuals' lives for the better," he said.
He explained how the cultural web space is currently very crowded and people need to be able to find and make sense of the educational potential of what is being created. "Organisations like 24 Hour Museum help people find their way through it all," he said.
Roy Clare, Chief Executive of MLA, also welcomed the move and acknowledged this was much more than just a name change: he stressed the role of sharing data access across the sector was really important, which is exactly what Culture24's plans are all about.
John Newbigin, Chair of the Trustees, Culture24. Jon Pratty / Culture24
John Newbigin, Chair of Culture24 Trustees, said: "We're going to carry on doing what we do best; publishing great stories about UK culture all over Britain; pulling in those big web audiences; but our key mission now goes a bit further, letting people know what's out there, getting them to engage with things in a more educative way, brokering out content and audiences to our creative and cultural sector partners."
“The new name reflects the fact that we are not just about museums – we’re about arts, heritage, archives and libraries too,” added Jane Finnis, Director of Culture24.
The DCMS reception to launch the new organisational name continues a period of intensive work by the Brighton-based team that will result in the Culture24 websites being rebuilt in spring 2008 using a new publishing system called the Integrated Architecture Project (IAP)
The IAP is a technical platform that will publish a range of partner websites and enable data to be shared simply and quickly by linking up existing databases of places, objects and events. Key databases and repositories covered by the project include the MLA's Cornucopia website and Institution Server, the European heritage portal MICHAEL and the People's Network Discovery Service (PNDS).
IAP is being created in partnership with MDA, MLA, the Department of Children School and Families (DCSF), Arts Council England (ACE) and VisitBritain.
For now though, although the organisation’s name changes to Culture24, it’s business as usual at 24 Hour Museum and Show Me where news, reviews and features continue to go live.
Note: from November 26 2007, all Culture24 staff will have new email addresses, ending with the new culture24.org.uk domain suffix. Remember to update your address books and contacts databases - the old addresses will re-direct for a short time.