Showing posts from January, 2006

Heritage Lottery Fund Consultation

HLF consultation The Heritage Lottery Fund want to encourage feedback re the HLF consultation process which is coming to an end at end of Feb. You can feedback at: or email They are particularly interested to know why small museums applications are relatively few for the smaller awards. What are the barriers to apply for these grants. Also what are the needs for the future?

Smashing Vases at FitzWilliam Museum, Cambridge

Poor chap tripped over his shoe laces, fell down stairs and destroyed 2 300 year old vases in the process! Shows how careful we Curator's need to be - however, expert conservators will have them back together without the public noticing! Remember the Portland vase in the BM - still one of the most visited treasures despite being smashed to smithereens. BBC news item has a video

List Builders, mailing list management software

Research re running mailouts. History At the Old Operating Theatre Museum we began building our mailing list using Yahoo Groups . It is free and works very, very well. Also has the advantage, that being web based, you can mail from distributed offices, and homes not just the office computer. Yahoo then introduced a limit to the number of emails you could send at once and it uses adverts. So we swapped to running our own Outlook express system, and then incredimail - normal email groups. This works ok but there is no tracking, no automatic subscription and deletion, difficulty with large scale bouncing, and the database is not very good. So we maintain our contacts database (idealist) and the contacts in the email mailer. Also used a free list builder programme called groupmail - it worked very well, but we got so many bounces that I came to the conclusion it was being interpreted as spam - so returned to email mailing. But as we want to build up our email marketing am now loo

Sejanus by Ben Jonson

Went to see Sejanus by Ben Jonson at the Trafalgar Studios - an RSC performance starring William Houston as the slightly demented Pratorian commander. By no means a great play - more a history lesson - there seems no sense of drama - you know that Sejanus is going to get his come uppance all the way through and there seems no development for anyone in the play - neither Tiberius the Emperor, Sejanus or even the few rather ineffectual good guys. They just sit there and watch it happen, and grumble a lot. Sejanus camps around in a slightly demented and self confident way, and the Emperor seems to have very little to commend him. So, a drama it is not, the lines are spoken too quickly to really judge the poetry but there are certainly one or two notable phrases and lots of wisdom spoken. If you had no idea how power was deployed in a tyranny, well this might be a starting point. In 1603 it would have been very exciting to get insight into this part of distant history and a lot of it

Mobile Technology

For the Lost Industry of Southwark project I am trying to find a good way of putting the information about the lost industries in Southwark on mobile phone. Seminar on new media - see previous post suggests that Upcomm might just be the technology I require! very exciting - the web site address is encoded in a bitmap stuck on a poster/newspaper/ etc you point your camera phone at it, photo it and using a bit of downloaded software, this then links you seamlessly to the web site. Great potential but will it catch on!

Email marketing

MGM Workshop on new media Very interesting half day seminar organised on new media by Museums and Galleries month at the London Metropolitan Archives. The first section was about how to get the most out of email marketing, the second featured a new media technology for mobile phones. The first point raised by Michael Leiden was that e-marketing should be part of the main marketing plan and e-marketing needed to have clear objectives. Marketing emails, newsletters, e-zines - should not be sent on monday or friday when they are likely to be deleted! They should have content at the top of them so that readers can see bullet points in the preview pane of the email reader. Content should be, ideally, 2/3 tell 1/3 sell - otherwise people get fed up! You need to track your emails - how many are reading them? Piggyback onto larger campaigns and TV shows. Ed-Advertising is probably too expensive for an arts organisation - 5 - 25p per click. Gorm Ashurst of Bullet mentioned a list pr

Eur - Rome and Mussolini

just posted an email to britarch re EUR in Rome which went something along the following lines: If you are going to Rome and have a spare day (?) go to EUR - its a suburb built by order of Mussolini in 1939 for some big exhibition - architecture is, of course propaganda in stone, but provides a quite elegant modernist version of classical. Couple of wonderful and empty museums there (including Museo Della Civiltà Romana and makes a really good day out! Interesting thing though is how this elegant architecture with its lovely avenues and squares, a model of townplanning, was built by a regime so detestable. More on EUR from kevin flude

Origin of Curry in London

Interesting Radio 4 item on origins of Curry - on You and Yours (19.01.06) This web site has details relevant re London. The following is a quotation from the site: 'As the influence of the British in India grew, so did the interest in Indian food back in Britain, leading to the publishing of recipes and the commercial creation of curry powder in 1780. The first appearance of curry on a menu was at the Coffee House in Norris Street, Haymarket, London in 1773 but the first establishment dedicated to Indian cuisine was the Hindostanee Coffee House at 34 George Street, Portman Square, London in 1809 as recorded in The Epicure’s Almanack. It was opened by Dean Mahomet (or Mahomed) from Patna, Bihar, India, via Cork in Ireland. ' For those not from Britain, it is often stated in the media that Curry is the most popular meal in the UK.

A Surgical Artist At War - The Paintings And Sketches Of Sir Charles Bell'

Not for the faint hearted, but the paintings, in conjunction with the text, are wonderful. The medical knowledge he brings is in the paintings - you can tell if the patient will die from their wounds. What makes the book work is that the pictures are supported by Bell's own comments, and then a commentary by the authors which gives some medical background from a modern perspective. It also gives a good idea of the work of Surgeons at the time and shows that, far from being butchers, then had a rare skill, sadly undermined by their inability to do anything much about infection. Also works as an anti war book - as you can see some of the horrible injuries caused by weapons - really should be compulsory viewing for all politicians. Crumplin, M.K.H. & Starling, P. 'A Surgical Artist At War - The Paintings And Sketches Of Sir Charles Bell' Royal College Of Surgeons Edinburgh, 2005


Reading this introduction to Narrative - Abbott, H Porter 'The Cambridge Introduction To Narrative' Cambridge University Press Very good introductory book, if a little lacking in intellectual excitement! Very much a technical dissecting of narrative - concerned to define, and name the parts while less interested in the dynamics of storytelling. Not gripping but educational.

The Long History of Old Age

This is a very interesting book by Pat Thane (Thames & Hudson) 2005 which both shows that, contrary to popular opinion, old age started no sooner in the past that it does now and that there has long been prejudice against the aged. Great images

Ideo's ideas for creative groups

Steelcase - rules for innovative people to live by - gives a good description of non-hierarchical project groups.

The Old Operating Theatre Museum moves into the Crypt

On January 5th the Museum reopened in its new temporary premises in the old Coffin Crypt of the Old Operating Theatre Museum. The staff have worked very hard to make the place fit for the public - although we still have a lot of work to do to make it perfect. The question is - how many people want to come to the museum when the cannot see the Old Operating Theatre itself?

‘New Seven Wonders of the World’ shortlist

Stonehenge has been included on a list of the new seven Wonders of the World’ shortlist It is the only UK site on a twenty-one site shortlist. The list is drawn up by the New Seven Wonders Society. More than 19 million voters have contributed to the ‘world's first global voting campaign’. The other shortlisted sites include: Acropolis, Angkor Wat, Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, Machu Picchu in Peru, Easter Island statues, Kremlin, Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal and Statue of Liberty. Only the the Great Pyramid of Giza is still standing from the original list. The rest of the six ancient wonders were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Source SALON - the Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter Salon-IFA 131: 2 January 2006