Abertay University has announced it will collaborate with Culture Perth and Kinross as part of a project to create interactive digital resources for museum collections.
Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) will provide funding of almost £60,000 to support the development of digital resources which aim to connect a “diverse range” of audiences with its various collections. The organisation’s collections span natural history, archaeology and fine art.
Dr Robin Sloan, programme leader for game design and production at Abertay, will lead the project, which will focus primarily on objects earmarked for display at Perth City Hall museum. The Abertay digital museums project will also work on collections including photographs and memorabilia that have been crowdsourced as part of the Perth City Hall Engagement programme.
Culture Perth and Kinross will work closely with volunteers to offer schools, community groups and families an opportunity to engage interactively with the collections. A new search portal will make it easier for people to find collections, while the development of a new MyMuseum platform will also let users save favourite items from the collection and share them with friends.
Dr Sloan commented: “At Abertay, we are passionate about bringing our expertise in game design and computer arts into the heritage sector. This project with Culture Perth and Kinross presents us with a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the design and development of a creative digital collections platform, and explore how user interaction and playful design can enhance audience engagement with our shared heritage.”
An interactive exhibition of memories of Perth City Hall will tour the region from next year until the new museums open, with new material potentially being added throughout the two-year period.
Gillian Findlay, interim head of museums and collections at Culture Perth and Kinross, said: “This funding from Museums Galleries Scotland enables the MyMuseum project to become a reality, and allows Culture Perth and Kinross a wonderful opportunity to open up the collection to a wider audience by taking a very creative approach.”
Findlay added: “The project will use technology to create a series of engaging heritage experiences, allowing online visitors the chance to experience Perth and Kinross’ distinctive culture and heritage with cutting-edge digital expertise.”
Technology is rapidly transforming how people interact with their history and heritage. Similar to the Abertay digital museums project, libraries, museums and private collections across Scotland and further afield are increasingly digitising and exploring new ways to boost engagement and open up collections to a wider audience.
Earlier this year, Historic Environment Scotland launched a new augmented reality game that allows visitors to Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfriesshire to explore what life in the castle may have been like during the 14th century.
Castle Quest is an educational game that offers visitors stories and tasks during their tour of the castle, immersing them in the day-to-day life of the site’s long-gone inhabitants.