Pictured: St Andrews-Timespan VR demo, picture by Malcolm McCurrach.
Four workshops for heritage organisations looking to connect with new audiences through digital media will take place over the next week.
The Digital Heritage workshops: Bringing Museums to the Home series is proving to be popular during the COVID-19 lockdown with 340 people signing up for the first six sessions run over the last three weeks.
The final four workshops in the series will take place on 18 and 23 June.
Topics include Creative Commons Licensing and Virtual Museums.
The events are supported through the CUPIDO Interreg cultural heritage project, which is a North Sea Region Programme for 2018-2021 to help businesses develop new opportunities in the cultural heritage sector across Europe’s North Sea region.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has been working in partnership with the University of St Andrews on the programme of digital activities designed to help commercialise the heritage sector in communities and social enterprises across the region.
The workshops are facilitated by Dr Alan Miller and Catherine Anne Cassidy from the Open Virtual Worlds Group at the University of St Andrews.
Dr Alan Miller said:
“There has never been a time when working with heritage in the digital domain was more accessible, exciting or important.
“These workshops are part of a set of resources we are making to demystify digital technology and help museums deliver heritage to the home.
“We are encouraging people to join a workshop, visit XpoNorth online this year and come to the Heritage Studio Facebook group to find out more.”
Ann Marie Reid, senior project manager at HIE, said:
“We have been really pleased with the turnout so far.
“The workshops are a great way of helping the heritage sector get their stories out to a wider audience.
“The programme has been designed in response to the impacts of COVID-19 to help develop the digital skills to connect with existing and potential new audiences in innovative ways.
“Topics covered so far include how to make a virtual tour, making the most of social media and virtual and augmented reality.
“They have proved very popular over the last few weeks and we look forward to welcoming people to the final workshops.”
The XpoNorth Heritage programme has also partnered with the project and is involved in co-ordinating the online events.
The programme supports organisations and businesses to develop innovative new ideas.
Nicola Henderson, project co-ordinator at XpoNorth Heritage, said:
“Museums in the region have been considering how they can reach audiences from further afield using innovative, digital technologies and this current crisis has thrown that into sharp focus.
“To both sustain their current audiences and to reach new ones they are innovating on their feet and these workshops have and will continue to support them in learning new skills, experimenting with new ideas and encouraging them to invite audiences from around the world to experience their heritage from their living rooms.
“Our museums have worked extremely hard in the last few years, finding ingenious and innovative ways to maintain quality experiences for their audiences.
“The workshops provide a great opportunity to learn and embrace technology as a way to reach and lever new audiences.”
Through the CUPIDO project and in addition to the digital heritage skills programme, HIE and University of St Andrews are also working on a digital project designed to support heritage organisations adopt the use of new technologies to help generate income and improve their visitor offering.
Its currently working with Orkney’s North Isles Landscape Partnership Scheme to develop a digital virtual reality project to connect cultural organisations located across Orkney’s North Isles communities (North Ronaldsay, Papay Westray, Sanday, Westray, Eday, Stronsay, Rousay and Shapinsay), to support the marketing of their respective unique cultural offering, and diversify their customer bases.