Cornwall Heritage Awards is launched

Cornwall Museums Partnership (CMP) has launched the very first ‘Cornwall Heritage Awards’, which will celebrate the achievements of museums and heritage organisations across Cornwall.

The awards, which were officially launched on Tuesday 10 October, will give the opportunity to showcase the hard work of museums as well as the staff, volunteers and trustees that support them.

Applicants can enter up to seven awards, which include innovative project of the year, heritage heroes, the family friendly award, the audience initiative award, the Cornish heritage award, project on a budget, and the object of the year award, which will be subject to a public vote in the new year.

Emmie Kell, Director of Cornwall Museums Partnership encourages local museums to get involved in the new awards: “We are excited to be launching such a fantastic new initiative. The Heritage Awards have been designed to recognise and reward achievement, and raise the profile of museums and heritage organisations in Cornwall.

The Awards ceremony will also offer a great opportunity to network with colleagues and build connections with other key industry professionals. The event will be true a celebration of Cornwall’s distinctive cultural heritage.”

The application process is open until Friday 15 December 2017. Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony that takes place on 20 March 2018 at Scorrier House in Redruth.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Cornwall Museums Partnership website.

Understanding and Maintaining Historic Industrial Buildings

Join the next Industrial Heritage event on Friday 17th November 2017 on Understanding and Maintaining Historic Industrial Buildings. The event will be running from 10.00am to 12.30pm and it is free to attend. For bookings please contact Gemma Martin at: gmartin@wheal-martyn.com.

The event is a Subject Specialist Network, run by Wheal Martyn Museum. For further details please click below.

Trenance Heritage Cottages will be taking part in Heritage Open Days

Stories from the past will be brought to life in an entertaining  and colourful way next week at Trenance Heritage Cottages in Newquay.

For the first time the three cottage dwellings will be revisited by one of their long departed residents.  As part of this year’s National Heritage Open Days, the popular buildings, which date back to the 1850s and were lived in by local families until 1966, will open their doors for free on an additional day of the week, Thursday 7th September.

Trustee, Jill Willmott, said: “The cottages  are being visited by an increasing number of people on the four days we normally open – they love viewing the rooms which depict a parlour, kitchen and bedroom from around 1900, but on this special day, we’ll have one of the former residents being acted by Katie Kirk in full costume and telling stories of her character’s life at Trenance”.

The idea of breathing life into earlier residents in this way is not new – living museums such as Beamish and Iron Bridge have done it for years, but it’s a new venture for Trenance. Chris Blount said: “My wife and I visited a row of cottages built by Cornish settlers in Wisconsin, USA, and were very impressed by the miner and bal maiden they had  there  telling us about their lives. They really knew their stuff too”.

‘Trenance As ‘Twas – stories from the past’ will be open from 10.30am until 4.30pm on Thursday 7th September with free admission.

Weekly Tech Review – Week 6 Sketchfab – viewing 3D scans

Sketchfab

Overview:

Following on from last week’s review of publishing 3D models on Sketchfab, we are reviewing the user-experience of Sketchfab. Sketchfab is a platform where you can publish, share and discover 3D content. There are over 1.5 million scenes with a community of over 1 million creators you can follow, making Sketchfab the largest platform for immersive and interactive 3D content. As with most of our reviews, this is a free platform, where there is no cost to upload or access content.

What you need:

  • An internet connection
  • A computer or smartphone
  • The Sketchfab website or app (available for iOS and Android)

 Instructions:

The Sketchfab website is incredibly easy to use and navigate. For the purposes of this review, we visited the profile of the British Museum, who have made a concerted effort to publish 3D models online, and have uploaded 220 to date. Following on from this we explored the models that were tagged as ‘Cornwall’ and then filtered for ‘Cultural Heritage and Museums’. We particularly enjoyed the 3D models created by Tom Goskar.

Pros:

  • Detailed information has been provided next to the models. We selected the Queen piece from the Lewis Chess set – this showed information relating to the date of production, height, material, as well as meta-data about the person who took the 3D scan and what equipment was used.

  • There is the facility for multiple annotations when a model contains more than one object.

  • You can download the model for free, though if you wished to charge, there is the facility. This is dependent upon copyright restrictions – so if you don’t want people to download something, you don’t have to offer it.
  • You can add this model to your own collection, embed it on a website, like it, and share it on social media.
  • You can see how many people have viewed and liked the model, allowing museums to gauge the popularity of objects.
  • There is the facility to set different licenses for the download, for instance, the Queen is Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. The Creative Commons system of licensing is very straightforward, and you can easily work it out here.
  • People can comment on each model, allowing for extra information, feedback, and discussion amongst users.
  • You can tag each model with generic terms, making it easy for people to find your model while browsing.
  • Link to the museum’s website

Cons:

  • We were keen to try out the VR facility on the Sketchfab app with our trusty Google Cardboards, however, we noticed that all of the museum/heritage models that we looked at were not optimised for VR. This is not a criticism of Sketchfab per se, but more of a missed opportunity on behalf of museums. We did find some ‘VR ready’ models and found the experience to be absolutely brilliant, with the ability to move around the object (something that we noticed was noticeably lacking in Google Arts and Culture and Google Expeditions.
  • Viewing objects in VR version works perfectly for iOS devices. However, using an Android device takes a long time for the object to load in VR and, additionally, the user must install the Google VR Services app beforehand, in order to be able to view objects on Google cardboard (or any VR device).

General feedback:

We love Sketchfab! It presents a brilliant opportunity to freely share and disseminate 3D digital content and become a member of this burgeoning online community. We particularly like the idea of being able to comment on models and feel that this would be a useful tool in the co-curation of museum objects, enhancing digital engagement and participation.

We noticed that most of the models that have been tagged as ‘Cornwall’ are archaeological or architectural, so there is a need for museum object to comprehensively display Cornish heritage.

Score:

  • Price – 5/5
  • Ease of use- 5/5
  • Education – 5/5
  • Fun – 4.5/5

Overall score: 19.5

Jenny Lee and Yiota Liopetriti

Good leadership is the key to the future of heritage

Over 50 senior decision makers from Cornwall’s heritage sector gathered last week, to discuss the vital importance of good leadership to the future of the UK’s museums and galleries. Cornwall Museums Partnership, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, hosted its first Trustee’s Gala Lunch, which took place at Heartlands in Pool on Thursday 18th May.

Recent conspicuous failures in governance in the not profit sector headlined by Kids Company, but with some notable difficulties in museums too, have highlighted the need for all Trustees to take leadership seriously. Cornwall Museums Partnership is at the forefront of raising awareness of the need for excellent levels of leadership and governance.

Attendees discussed the need for ongoing trustee skills development in order to help heritage organisations to survive and thrive in challenging times. Opening Keynote speaker Paula Sussex, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, reinforced the critical importance of the Board in a charity’s performance saying “when a board is not performing you are highly likely to start to see failures within the organisation.”

Michael Day, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces and Chair of the Board at Battersea Arts Centre illustrated the importance of strategic leadership and the critical role Trustees can play in fundraising for their charities. Michael Day explained: “I’m delighted to have been invited by Cornwall Museums Partnership to speak at such an event. Boards need to be focused on the here and now, creating unity of purpose within their institutions. By looking at their drive and their desire for their organisations, the foundations of good governance can begin to form.”

In addition to this, delegates also took part in workshops throughout the day, providing them with the opportunity to influence the future direction of heritage leadership in Cornwall, lead by Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, Chair of Trustees of Cornwall Museums Partnership and Emmie Kell, CEO of Cornwall Museums Partnership. The key outcomes from these workshops will be developed into practical and deliverable key actions as part of Cornwall Museums Partnership’s drive towards excellence in leadership.

Michael Day explained: “I’m delighted to have been invited by Cornwall Museums Partnership to speak at such an event. Boards need to be focused on the here and now, creating unity of purpose within their institutions. By looking at their drive and their desire for their organisations, the foundations of good governance can begin to form.”

The day was closed with an open Q&A session, directed to all the day’s speakers on the various challenges and opportunities museums face on recruiting, retaining and communicating with their trustees. Focus was particularly given to the relationships between CEO’s and Chairs, and how governance should help to build successful and lasting connections within organisations.

Emmie Kell, CEO of Cornwall Museums Partnership said, “The opportunity to have two prestigious keynote speakers such as Paula and Michael here in Cornwall has been a real privilege for the heritage sector. We are delighted that they have been able to share their experience, knowledge and expertise, helping us to ensure a bright future for the UK’s heritage.”

For more information about the leadership and governance support offered by Cornwall Museums Partnership contact Clare Pennington at Cornwall Museums Partnership by emailing clare@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk or calling 01209 500750.

 

EDITOR’S NOTES

  • The Trustee Gala Lunch was organised and hosted by Cornwall Museums Partnership with support from Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Cornwall Museums Partnership existing to help museums to work together; helping create a strong voice for heritage in Cornwall.
  • The ‘Manifesto for Leadership Workshop’, was hosted by Sir Ferrers Vyvyan in the morning, Chair of Cornwall Museums Partnership