Innovating Access: The Digital Touch

Stories from the Museum Floor

Today’s Story from the Museum Floor takes a multi-sensory look at some of the innovative work Manchester Museum is doing to improve access through digital technologies. This work, led by Sam Beath, Collections Care Manager and Senior Conservator at Manchester Museum, in collaboration with Touch and Discover Systems and Loughborough University was acknowledged and celebrated with the commendation received at the Jodi Awards last week.

Looking after museum objects

There is a natural impulse to want to touch objects, and touching and handling objects was a central feature of visiting museums in the past. In the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, visitors to the Ashmolean in Oxford and the British Museum were allowed to handle, rub, shake and even taste objects on display! However, over time, restrictions emerged on how objects could be handled and by whom, and by the mid-nineteenth century it was only curators and conservators who were able…

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