Last night a contingent from UCL including brilliant people from UCLDH, CASA and Museums and Public Engagement, headed down to the 10th Anniversary Museums and Heritage Awards. The night started badly as a waiter managed to spill a huge jug of milk all down my back and lovely dress. But once I’d dried myself off, with the help of Claire and Melissa, and tried to mask the smell of quickly souring milk, the awards got underway.
There were 11 awards in total UCL, were up for three: The move of the Grant Museum for Project on A Limited Budget, the Grant Museum’s QRator project for Innovations and Heritage Without Borders for The International Award.
I’m proud to say that we won Museum and Heritage Award for Excellence, Innovations award for QRator: Visitor Participation Through Social Interpretation.
QRator is a collaboration between the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (UCLDH), UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), and UCL Museums, to develop new kinds of content, co-curated by the public, and museum staff, to enhance museum interpretation, public engagement and meaning making by establishing new connections to museum exhibit content.
As QRator is a collaborative project there are a lot of people who need thanking. And in the excitement none of us actually had the foresight to prepare a speech on the night! So a really big thanks goes to Jack and Mark at the Grant Museum who were instrumental in the QRator project; Mark Carnall who worked with me originally in trialling QR codes in the Grant Museum and who is the most forward thinking curator I have ever met. Jack Ashby who writes the content and designs the displays for QRator, and who has the patience of a saint. To Steve Gray who is an absolutely brilliant developer, and who’s skills in usability and interface design are second to none. Andy Hudson Smith, and Ralph and Martin the original team behind Tales of Things from UCL Centre for Advance Spatial Analysis, Melissa Terras and Claire Warwick who have been a the best support, PhD supervisors I could ever ask for. Susannah Chan from UCL Museums and Public Engagement for inventing the mounts for the iPads, and spending what felt like an eternity installing them into the Grant. A big thank you to the UCL Public Engagement Unit for their funding and support of the project, Sally MacDonald Director of UCL Museums and Public Engagement who has been a huge driving force behind the project, it is so refreshing to have Top Down support for digital innovation in the cultural sector. Without them this project would literally be nothing.
A big congratulations to all the other winners. There was a wide range of really fantastic projects from a sector that has been hard hit with funding cuts, you can see the full list of winners, commendations and the full short lists here.