Project Title: Digitisation Strategy for Shetland Museum’s Recognised Textile Collection
Employing Organisation: University of Glasgow
Academic PI: Professor Lynn Abrams, History
Partners Organisation: Shetland Museum and Archives
In 2013 Shetland Museum was awarded national recognition for its Textile Collection, comprised mainly of 19th and 20th century knitwear and woven fabrics. This collection is in demand by designers, makers, historians, and the general public as a source of inspiration, enjoyment and craft development and learning. As yet the collection remains publicly inaccessible in digital formats.
This project assesses whether it is possible to design appropriate digitisation strategy(ies) for medium and small rural museums which work in harmony with individual collections, limited resources and local creative economies and craft practices.
An initial assessment of Shetland Museum and Archives’ recent acquisition of two large and nationally important textile donations has raised questions as to the most appropriate digitisation framework for local cultural and living heritage collections. Many small museums remain unsure of the best way to proceed with the digitisation of living heritage collections and uncertain as to how the strategies adopted by larger organisations are relevant to them.
This project, focusing on the textile collections of Shetland museums, offers an ideal opportunity to investigate and assess the impact of digitisation on rural museums holding living heritage collections. The findings of the investigation will be disseminated as a framework, or template, from which small rural museums, in the early stages of their digitisation planning, can maximise content creation, sharing and use, as well as realise their own organisational objectives.