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UK-US Collaboration for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions

Date: 18/09/2019

Partners in the UK and the US are coming together to collaborate on the role of digital scholarship in transforming museums and other cultural institutions such as libraries, archives, and galleries.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress, are working together with the anticipation that a new transatlantic research partnership will reimagine the future of the world’s leading cultural institutions.

They will aim to achieve this by transforming the ways in which culture and heritage can be experienced by global audiences; developing new directions for organisational leadership and new forms of curatorial practice; opening new research frontiers and questions; and advancing collections-based research methods for the 21st century.

The first major activity supported jointly by the partners will be a co-sponsored workshop held in Washington DC from 18–19 September 2019, convening leading experts from academia and cultural institutions from both countries examining the impact digital technologies are having (and will have) on museums and related institutions. The workshop will explore a number of themes such as Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI), crowdsourcing and models of co-creation, and enhancing visitor experiences; it will be unique in drawing from a diverse range of expertise – data scientists, archaeologists, digital curators, and ornithologists.

A report summarising discussions, describing the priority thematic areas identified and recommending actions, will be the key output from the workshop. This will provide a basis from which the partners will consider next steps, including the possibility of future collaborative activity and funding calls that advance the field through new transatlantic partnerships.

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