Enriching Exhibition Stories: Adding Voices to Quire

University of Oxford AHRC University of Edinburgh Yale University Ashmolean Museum Yale Center for British Art

Enriching Exhibition Stories: Adding Voices to Quire (project reference AH/Y006011/1) is a project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and led by the University of Oxford, working in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, the Ashmolean Museum, and Yale University.

Project Summary

Traditional exhibition catalogues are extremely informative documents, but may be daunting, perhaps even intimidating, both to those who write them and those who read them. Enriching Exhibition Stories will help museums more easily create supplemental digital forms of exhibition narrative which speak to, and can be voiced by, a wider and more diverse range of perspectives than those who usually engage with exhibitions.

This project builds upon a successful international collaboration between leading researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh in the UK and Yale University in the US, alongside the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Yale Center for British Art. It draws upon insights from the same team during their research for the Enriching Exhibition Scholarship project, which linked and contextualised objects as they move between institutions through exhibitions, combining structured museum collections data with 'rich text' such as newspaper articles and social media.

The project uses the open source Quire software, developed by Getty, which creates rich documents, including exhibition catalogues, but which are easy to author, build, deploy and maintain, even by smaller institutions and individuals. Enriching Exhibition Stories adds capabilities to Quire so that it works with Linked Art -- the structured data used in the earlier research project -- and through it enable new forms of Digital Stories.

Enriching Exhibition Stories works in partnership with museums to ensure our work is embedded in professional best practice as well as software, both through an ongoing dialogue to define requirements, and through two trials of the enhanced-Quire software.

In the first trial we will work with the curator of the recent 'Labyrinth: Knossos, Myth & Reality' exhibition at the Ashmolean, to create a Digital Story connecting items from the exhibition through social media commentary.

In our second trial students at the Rumble Museum, Cheney School, will create Digital Stories which reflect their own personal interpretations of exhibition material and context.

Our experience from both these trials will be coalesced in a 'train the trainers' session for museum professionals at the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, and in dissemination to museum conferences in the UK and US.

All project software, procedures, and documentation, will be made freely available for museums to adopt and adapt at any point in the future.

Project Participants

UK Team

US Team

For enquiries about the project, please contact Dr Kevin Page in the first instance.

About the AHRC

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training, in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe.

Visit the AHRC website at: ahrc.ukri.org, on Twitter at @ahrcpress, and on Facebook search for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.