RAMM and the University of Exeter

Jenny Durrant, 18.08.2016
Partnership is key to the 'A Million Images' project
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) and the University of Exeter are using digitisation to discover the museum’s previously under-used collection of nearly 5,000 magic lantern slides.

The partnership is part of the three-year project ‘A Million Pictures’ funded via the European Union and the Arts and Humanities Research Council joint programming initiative on cultural heritage. This brings together academics, museum professionals and artists in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and the UK to explore the potential of slide collections.

Key elements of the project include:

  • A post-doctoral researcher has photographed and catalogued RAMM’s collection into the Lucerna online resource
  • The slides have been added to the museum’s collections database to enable physical access and future-proof collections information.
  • Museum staff have attended European workshops to develop knowledge and shape digital best practice, and bring these skills to local and regional museums.
  • Physical slides and reprinted images feature in temporary exhibitions and public talks.
  • Research has uncovered the collection’s significance with historic learning and leisure pursuits in the city, and proven links to other areas of the museum’s collection.
In one innovative development, individual slides have inspired a modern ‘peep-show’ developed by a local creative specialist, using digitised images with theatrical storytelling in a quality and quirky experience.

With access to additional funding the show is touring folk festivals and family events across the UK, taking the collection outside the physical museum building, engaging hard-to-reach audiences and proving museums are fun and creative.

Jenny Durrant, the assistant curator, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery