Nearly everyone has a documentation backlog and finds it hard to give this the time it deserves. We would like to explore ways of tackling this through digital engagement.

The overall idea is to leapfrog cataloguing and end up with something that would be useful for the public, too. One of the areas identified is photographs of unknown people or places. Without supporting information, it is not possible to decide the relevance of the image to your collection. Fundamental issues include who owns the image and so we would also like to work on efficient ways of carrying out due diligence with orphan works and generally sharing our knowledge and understanding of copyright.

The new area we would like to learn more about is how to crowdsource effectively by engaging with audiences digitally. This could help us reach different audiences and also inform us about who are non-users for museums but nevertheless are still interested in engaging with collections. In turn, our approach to how we present our collections digitally may be better informed, what and how to share with audiences. Of course, we recognise that this may require more than one approach but even negative experiences will help understand the potential of digital approaches better.

Contact Kirsty Bell, PDG lead contact, for more details.