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Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

New audioguide live at Lambeth Palace

In Museums, new content on May 26, 2010 at 9:55 am

My latest audioguide is now live at Lambeth Palace Library, London. It accompanies an exhibition called Treasures of Lambeth Palace Library which is being held in the palace’s magnificent Great Hall. Interestingly, everyone entering the space gets an audio handset so it’s likely that a much higher percentage of visitors attending the exhibition listening to my script than you’d get at other museums or galleries.

The exhibition marks the 400th anniversary of the founding of the library at Lambeth Palace and features some of the greatest treasures from the collection,which has been added to by each Archbishop of Canterbury since 1610. Some of the stars of the show include Elizabeth I’s prayer book, Henry VIII’s handwriting, Charles I’s gloves he wore on execution day and the first Gutenberg Bible to come to the UK.

There are some amazing things in there and I had a great time researching and writing the script, which was then produced into the finished audioguide by my colleagues at ATS Heritage. Plus I got to interview Archbishop Rowan Williams as well, who you can hear on the guide.

Tickets are £8, which you can book online here. The exhibition is open until 23 July.

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More cultural investment for Birmingham

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on May 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) are hard at work on their new public galleries. The project – which is costing nearly £10 million – will see an overhaul of their existing building and the creation of new gallery spaces, telling the story of the history of Birmingham.

It’s a similar project to the one taking place at the Museum of Bristol, which also seeks to tell the story of the history of the city. I worked with the Bristol team recently on the text that will sit alongside the interpretation of their story and I wonder if I should perhaps see if BMAG are interested in finding out more about museum text in a similar way.

In the meantime, there’s an article all about the developments at BMAG on Museum [Insider].

Yang-May Ooi interviews Steve Slack

In Dulwich OnView, Museums, new content, what i'm reading on May 21, 2010 at 9:17 am
My friend Yang-May Ooi, the writer and blogging expert who taught me much of what I now about blogging, interviewed me recently for a podcast on her website.
Fusion View is Yang-May’s blog which offers her musings on life in the UK – and especially our little corner of south London – often compared with life in Malaysia where she was born. She describes it as ‘personal reflections with a cross-cultural flavour’. There’s everything on there, from recipes and reviews to videos of local sights and interviews with people from all walks of life.
Her library of podcasts is growing rapidly and one of her most recent entries is an interview with me about my work as a multimedia writer. Taking the British Museum’s current exhibition about Italian Renaissance Drawings as a starting point, we explore the process of creating an audio guide and how we turn the content into the little box visitors borrow from the museum when they arrive on the day.
You can listen to the podcast on Fusion View. Yang-May is also closely involved in the Dulwich OnView project and there’s an article about the interview live on there today.

My ‘Grand Tour’ of museums

In Museums on May 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

I’ve not updated this blog in a week or so as I’ve just been so busy, going to so many museums.

Last week in Vienna we visited the Kunsthistorisches Museum (a holy grail for any art historian or museum lover) and the Haus der Musik (an award-winning visitor experience about the science and art of music production). We also visited the conservation work going on at St Stephensdom and climbed the tower there. The Museums Quarter in Vienna is quite amazing – so many institutions all crammed into one small area!

Then, after an overnight train ride to Florence, we visited the Uffizi to see their amazing collection including Birth of Venus, et al. (Remember to book your tickets online in advance) and the Academia Gallery (to see David and some other great Michelangelos. Another city, another tower – this time of the infamous Duomo. And another Cathedral – the art inside the Basilica San Lorenzo is like a museum in itself. Also worth seeing in Florence – and with shorter queues! – are the Museo del Bargello (a former prison and now home to a collection of European sculpture) and the stunning interiors of the Palazzo Vecchio. But I’d suggest skipping Dante’s House – it’s just some text panels on a wall and a gift shop.

Phew, with all those museums, plus a trip to the Vienna Philharmonic I’m still catching up with myself. And also plenty of fine European food. Right, off to the gym to burn it all off, and where I won’t think about museums for at least an hour!

Wrest Park submits bid to HLF

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content, Uncategorized on May 1, 2010 at 10:02 am

Wrest Park in Bedfordshire has submitted plans to the Heritage Lottery Fund for consideration which will see the site undergo a major upgrade of the visitor experience.

The English Heritage site – consisting of a Grade 1 listed stately home and outstanding historic gardens – is a recent acquisition for the charity and needs plenty of attention.

There’s detail about what they’re planning in an article live on Museum [Insider].