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Exploring the University's Cultural Heritage Collection Online

The University’s Digital Library program is working to launch an online exhibitions platform to display content from the University’s extensive cultural heritage collection in new and engaging ways.

The University’s cultural heritage collection includes manuscripts, archives, art collections, rare books, historic musical instruments and a wide range of rare and unique objects curated by the Centre for Research Collections and offered online, digitally through Collections.ed.

Collections.ed was created in 2014 as an online collections catalogue; however current developments focus on improved access, curated collections contents and bespoke narratives from the collections.

This new platform will provide a way to engage with curated content when buildings are closed and an opportunity to share our collections more widely. As exhibitions are always temporary, the new platform will preserve the legacy of exhibition content and make it accessible as a long-lasting resource for learning, teaching, and enjoyment wherever you are in the world,

Bianca PackhamEngagement Officer (Exhibitions)

The online platform will enable students, researchers and academics to browse the library digital collection in interactive ways organised by theme, topic, artist and more. Further, the platform will provide the capability to use a variety of media including images, sound recordings, moving image and animation as well as visualisation of 3D models. The platform will also provide staff with the ability to monitor information on user engagement with the online content.

Man on laptop on hillside

The project team is working with a third-party software supplier, Cogapp, to develop and launch the platform for virtual exhibitions. Information Services is providing project management support and working collaboratively with the supplier to support delivery of the platform including refining functional requirements and user stories, coordinating user feedback, reviewing design and functionality decisions and contributing to the testing and implementation of the platform.

“The project will deliver an engaging and interactive online exhibitions and storytelling platform that allows users to experience and interact with our digital collections in new and innovative ways,” said Bianca. “The platform will also offer opportunities for different voices - including students, academics and researchers - to curate exhibitions and tell stories with these collections.”