RAMM awarded funding to develop online catalogue - Museums Association

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RAMM awarded funding to develop online catalogue

Changing Stories project aims to link community interpretation to collections
Funding will allow RAMM to link its community engagement work to its collections catalogues
Funding will allow RAMM to link its community engagement work to its collections catalogues Matt Austin

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) in Exeter has been awarded more than £260,000 to reorganise how it catalogues its collections.

The National Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the council-run museum £247,708 towards the project through its Dynamic Collections campaign, with the Friends of RAMM and the museum’s development trust awarding a further £10,000 and £5,000 respectively.

Changing Stories: Connecting and collecting with Exeter’s communities will run until January 2026, and includes the creation of two new fixed-term posts (a digital media officer and an engagement officer) at the museum.

The project builds on the museum’s engagement work, which has sought to record local community groups’ stories and responses about its collections. A new digital asset management system will integrate with RAMM’s collections database, enabling the museum to generate new and topical content.

The funding will also support new engagement work with local communities to allow their interpretations to be added to the museum object records.

“RAMM has a strong track record of working with communities to share new perspectives on the collections,” said councillor Laura Wright, the portfolio holder for culture at Exeter City Council.

“While recent projects have been successful in opening a dialogue, we learnt through evaluation the importance participants placed on creating a lasting legacy, weaving community-generated content into the collection in a more visible way.”

Other aspects of the project include digital labels for RAMM’s Making History gallery and a redesign of the South West Collections Explorer website to allow better user engagement and storytelling opportunities.

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