The challenges of writing text for the Wellcome Collection’s Reading Room will be discussed on the day

Seminar exploring how to write effective museum text

Rebecca Atkinson, 28.10.2015
Let’s Talk About Text challenges museums to think critically about how they use text
The principles of writing effective text and communicating key stories about collections to visitors will be shared at an MP seminar taking place on 9 December at the Royal College of Surgeons in London.

Let’s Talk About Text: How to Write Effective Labels will explore how museums can ensure that text on labels, gallery panels and interactives earns its place and encourages a deeper connection with objects.

Speakers from a wide range of organisations will also discuss different approaches to writing gallery text, and challenge museums to think critically and creatively about why, how and when they use text.

During the morning session, Caro Howell, the director of the Foundling Museum in London, will explain how it works with artists, communities and writers to create narratives that encourage discussion, sharing and reflection.

Anna Faherty, a content developer and digital publishing consultant, will reflect on the challenges of writing text for the Wellcome Collection’s Reading Room, and William Blair, the curator of Human History at National Museums Northern Ireland, will discuss how focus groups can help when writing text to interpret highly sensitive issues.

During the afternoon, Lucy Harland, the director of Lucidity Media, will share her tips for finding the right tone of voice for your museum, and Oliver Douglas, the assistant curator at the Museum of English Rural Life, will describe the processes behind producing engaging text that challenges preconceptions about rural life.

Georgie Ariaratnam and Sheldon Paquin, from the Science Museum’s Contemporary Science Team, will look at writing topical text for young audiences.

During the day there will also be Q&A panels discussions with speakers, giving delegates the opportunity to share their own writing dilemmas and ask questions.

"Museums of all sizes are being really creative with text,” says Harland, who is also chairing the seminar. “This is a fantastic chance to meet people who are questioning why, what and how they write – and coming up with thought-provoking and inspiring answers."


Timetable and booking information for Let’s Talk About Text