Panel: ASPIRE Digital Roundtable: "Horizon Scanning: Living in the Digital World"

I was invited to be a panellist for Oxford ASPIRE's first knowledge sharing event on 13th November 2012, Living in the Digital World: Horizon Scanning for Museums (PDF).  Oxford ASPIRE is a consortium of Oxford University Museums (the Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers, History of Science, Natural History Museums) and the Oxfordshire County Museums Service.

As they say in their post, ASPIRE Digital Roundtable: "Horizon Scanning: Living in the Digital World", 'This roundtable event brought together a small number of museum professionals to discuss how museums could thrive in the increasingly digital landscape by exploring innovations, opportunities for collaboration and funding sources.

Our 16 delegates gathered at the Pitt Rivers Museum and questions and ideas began bubbling immediately over coffee.  The event officially began with thoughts and provocations from our four expert panelists who gave their over-view of the key digital issues facing museums. Delegates and panelists then entered into a lively and illuminating conversation.' They've linked to podcasts and transcripts of the introductions in their post.

Card-sorting activity at the Commodity Histories workshop

The AHRC-funded Commodity Histories project aims to produce a 'website that will function as a collaborative space for scholars engaged in commodities-related research'.  The project organised a workshop, 'Designing a collaborative research web space: aims, plans and challenges of the Commodity Histories project' in London on 6-7 September 2012.

As part of opening session on the 'aims, plans and challenges of the Commodity Histories project and website' I led a card-sorting exercise aimed at finding out how potential scholars in the community of commodity historians would expect to find and interact with content and other scholars in the network.  We prepared print-outs of sample content in advance and asked participants to sort them into groups and then label them.  At the end of the workshop I presented the different headings the groups had come up with and discussed the different ways they'd organised the material.

While some work had been done on the site structure previously, the process was useful for understanding some of the expectations people had about the functionality and sociability of the site as well as checking how they'd expect the site to be organised.  Various other presentations and discussion during the workshop reinforced the idea that the key task of the site is to enable contributors to add content easily and often, and tempered our expectations about how much scholarly networking would be visible as conversations on the site.

has written up some of the workshop at The Boundaries of Commodities.

Upcoming talks and travel

Trinity lecture poster
Trinity lecture poster

For obvious reasons in 2020, this page is less populated than usual…

2017-18 was a bit of an odd year and I've subsequently reduced the number of invitations I accept each year. 2020 has also been a bit of an odd year, even without the pandemic.

My edited volume on 'Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage' for Ashgate, featuring chapters from some of the most amazing people working in the field was published in October 2014 and is now out in paperback. You can read my introduction on the OU repository: Crowdsourcing Our Cultural Heritage: Introduction.

By day, I'm usually at work at the British Library, so drop me a line if you'd like to meet for coffee and a chat. My availability for events is limited, but you can drop me a line if you'd like to book me for an event.

Some recent papers

Some publications are listed or accessible at my ORCID page, my Open University repository page, Humanities Commons page and my Zotero page.

This page is rarely up-to-date or complete, but here's a summary of talks, fellowships, writing, etc in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. You can also follow me on twitter (@mia_out) for updates.

Previous papers are generally listed at or on my blog, Open Objects.

Linking Museums meetup

Somehow I ended up organising a meetup about 'Linking museums: machine-readable data in cultural heritage'.  I've written about it for the UK MCG blog and there's a write-up of 'linking museums' from various people on the 'Museums and the machine-processable web' wiki.  If you're interested in 'helping museums make content re-usable; helping programmers access museum content', the wiki is a good place to join in.

I've also shared some thoughts on publishing re-usable object data and subject authorities from the Science Museum on the wiki.