Text event will take place at MShed in Bristol

Learn how to write sparkling museum text

Nicola Sullivan, 07.12.2016
What’s the Story, an MA seminar, will take place at MShed in Bristol
The latest techniques and approaches used to create emotive and attention grabbing museum text will be shared at a one-day seminar that will take place at MShed in Bristol on 24 January 2017.

The event What’s the Story: Creating Text that Connects with Audiences will be chaired by director of consultancy Lucidity Media, Lucy Harland, who has also spent more than 10 years in BBC radio production, is a qualified museum curator and an Associate of the Museums Association.

Speakers from a wide range of organisations discuss a number of different topics including: developing audience-focused approaches to museum text; new interpretive approaches; applying tone of voice; and deconstructing and interpreting language to remove barriers to understanding. Delegates will also have the chance to have a go at a number of writing challenges.

Rhian Tritton, the director of museum, conservation and education at SS Great Britain, will share her clear and no-nonsense approach to text and how it is used to interpret Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s famous steamship, and its role in the new Being Brunel museum.

Meghan Dennis, the curator of Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, will talk about a three-year project to unearth and tell stories about people who lived and worked in the Norfolk workhouse. The project saw Dennis and her team work with the descendants of workhouse inmates, deal with sensitive and emotional subjects and use text to make links between historical and contemporary issues.

“We want all our texts and panels to be understandable for the maximum amount of people. We keep our text as minimal as possible, and where possible we combine it with visual cues as well,” said Dennis.

“We try and use simple language but don’t simplify the concepts.”

Natalie Mills, the associate curator at London’s Science Museum, will talk about how text was created for Wonderland – a new interactive learning space designed to encourage children to think scientifically. Mills will explain how text can be used to prompt and support interactivity.

Links and downloads

Full event programme (pdf)

Book: What's the Story: Creating Text that Connects with Audiences