Research Interests

My research focuses upon Digital Heritage, specifically the proximity of digital media to the construction of knowledge in heritage settings. My work has been characterised by its emphasis on collaboration and Knowledge Exchange between the heritage sector and commercial organisations.

My book 'Recoding the Museum: digital heritage and technologies of change' (Routledge 2007), was the first major history of museum computing, and my more recent edited volume ‘Museums in a Digital Age’ (Routledge 2010) forges a curriculum and subject focus for a credible academic subject area of ‘Digital Heritage’.

I was also one of the team of nine academics whose submission to the national Research Assessment Exercise (2008) produced the highest proportion of world-leading research in any subject in any UK university.

Research awards

2017 - Awarded [as Principal Investigator] £503,000 - by AHRC Standard Grants call, to fund 'One by One: building the digital literacies of UK museums', a 2.5 year project, with 20 partner organisations, including Culture24, University of Warwick, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, National Museums Scotland, National Army Museum, Royal Pavilion & Museums Brighton and Hove, Derby Museums Trust, Museum of London, Museums Association, Association of Independent Museums, the Museum Development Network, Collections Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Nesta.

2012 - Awarded [as Co-Investigator] £247,000 - by AHRC Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange Projects Call - for ‘CATH (Collaborative Arts Triple Helix)', with the University of Birmingham, supporting a series of brokered partnerships between small businesses, small cultural organisations and Universities, in an attempt to understand how Knowledge Exchange and collaborative research works across these sectors [Principal Investigator, Dr Richard Clay].

2012 - Awarded [as Co-Investigator] £28,000 - by AHRC Research Networks Call, to fund ‘Transforming Thresholds’, with partners including The Heritage and Cultural Learning Hub (at the University of Birmingham), Blip Creative Ltd, Studio Bonito Ltd., investigating museum foyers and entrance spaces and the media used within them [Principal Investigator, Dr Ruth Page].

2010 - Awarded [as Principal Investigator] £4,800 - by Collections Trust for PhD scholarship on ‘Managing Digital Collections’.

2009 - Awarded [as Principal Investigator] £12,096 - AHRC BT Research Networking Pilot Funding for ‘LIVE!Museum: visitor and institutional contexts for digital labelling and in-gallery connectivty’ with the Collections Trust and System Simulation Ltd.

2009 - Awarded [as Co-Investigator] £497,907 - under the Large Research Grants - Science and Heritage programme [AHRC, EPSRC], for the project ‘Representing Re-Formation: Reconstructing Renaissance Monuments’ with English Heritage, University of Oxford, and Yale Center for British Art (Principal Investigator, Dr Philip Lindley).

2008 - Awarded [as Principal Investigator] £53,000 - AHRC Collaborative Research Training programme - as lead partner on a two-year project entitled ‘The Digital Heritage Research Training Initiative’, in collaboration with the University of Manchester, University of Glasgow, University of Newcastle and the Collections Trust.

2007 - Awarded £500 - British Academy award Overseas Conference Grant

2006 - Awarded [as Principal Investigator] £15,000 - AHRC Research Workshops (Museums and Galleries) Scheme for a nine-month project investigating ‘UK Museums and the Semantic Web’, with project partners MDA and the 24 Hour Museum.

2006 - Awarded [as Co-Investigator] £100,000 - PPARC for a project entitled ‘Space Now: Today’s News from Space’, a major gallery and Web site redevelopment, in association with the BNSC Communications Tea (Principal Investigator, Rev. Kevin Yates, the National Space Centre, Leicester).

2005 - Awarded [as Principal Investigator] £14,000 - HEROBC Innovation and Regional Fellowship award for a six-month ‘Innovations Fellowship’, to develop an in-gallery digital labelling system (‘LIVE!Labels’), with partners including New Walk Museum and Art Gallery and the National Space Centre.

2005 - Awarded [as Principal Investigator and Academic Supervisor] £36,000 - AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award to fund a project entitled ‘Sustaining public-facing digital assets in museums’, with Simulacra Ltd and the Museum of London.

2001 - Awarded [as Academic Supervisor] £97,000 - DTI’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership award - to work on a two-year project with a new media company (MacKenzie Ward Research Ltd.) to develop e-learning software for the cultural heritage and tertiary education sectors.


I am currently supervising seven PhD students, investigating:

  • the museum as a platform for sound culture (Stefania Zardini Lacedelli)
  • online museum learning resources for schools in a political, legal and business context (William Clarke)
  • measuring the sensory and emotional experience of in-gallery digital interactives (Jingyu Peng)
  • how museums interact with the expert web (Blaire Moskowitz)
  • how the twentieth century museum curated the motor car (Pal Negyesi)
  • strategically leveraging big data within museums (Lauren Vargas)
  • the impact of convergent media on digital production in museums (Peter Annhernu)

Previously, as first supervisor, I have supervised PhDs on:

  • the history of collecting computer-based technology at the Smithsonian Institution (Dr Petrina Foti)
  • models for cultivating innovation with digital media in museums (Dr Haitham Eid)
  • museums, pop music culture and the web (Dr Kathleen Pirrie Adams)
  • methods to measures the impact of museums in social media (Dr Elena Villaespesa)
  • the evolution of design of in-gallery digital media for children (Dr Amy Hetherington)
  • the sustainability of public-facing digital resources in museums (Dr Jeremy Ottevanger)
  • museums' display of sacred and devotional objects online (Dr Alex Whitfield)
  • the use of podcasting in museums (Dr Lena Maculan)
  • the use of mobile media for curating everyday life (Dr Kostas Arvanitis)

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