Adam says: This grant is a wonderful opportunity for GLAM Sector professionals to invest in their professional development, to grow the depth of our work and to share our own strengths and values.
I was lucky enough to be the 2016 recipient of the Paul Reynolds Grant, I travelled to London for six weeks to visit colleagues in various organisations and to learn more about Linked Open Data and the future of online collections. On the way over, I also stopped in Los Angeles to attend the Museums and the Web conference—a fantastic opportunity to hear from leaders in the field on all things digital. In London, I was hosted by the Research Space team at the British Museum, who are using Linked Data to trial new types of online contextualisation for collections. I used the British Museum as a base to explore collections across the city and to meet up with colleagues from the V&A, British Library, Science Museum and the Wellcome Trust.
What are some of the things you learnt during your time?
At the time of my visit to London, Auckland Museum was working on improving our Collections Online and setting up linked data and an API. This grant meant that I was able to confide our challenges and concerns with colleagues who had either completed similar projects or whose projects were similarly underway. I learnt so much in this time and it was great to hear that large organisations had many of the same issues that we were experiencing, and could sympathise with those that were rather more unique to the values we uphold in New Zealand.
My primary focus was on broadening my technical skills. The Research Space Team helped me to harness free tools such as the 3M and Karma mapping that help take data from source systems and map it to Linked Data standards. During my time on this scholarship, I also started to really understand the wider implications and possibilities of open data, in particular its use in the Wikimedia projects, which is now a focus of mine.
I was also able to share the key finding from my experience at the National Digital Forum in 2017.
How has your internship benefited your career?
Spending time alongside colleagues from the sector internationally gave me a huge insight into the development of the digital museum space. Being able to dive deeper into the workings of digital collections as they are being manifested by the sector leaders was incredibly helpful. The insights and practicalities helped me shape the Collections Online Project I was heading. The realisation of the project, upholding a range of views and values for our rich cultural collections has certainly helped to grow my career.
Equally beneficial though, was the chance the Paul Reynolds Grant gave me to converse with the individual people driving museum digitisation. The relationships built and conversations I had in this time, have inspired a genuine confidence in me that the work done in Aotearoa New Zealand is up amongst the highest standards of the sector worldwide and that we have much to offer in return. It is about working together to develop solutions. The sector is relatively small across the world and we are all joined by a shared passion and belief for what we do.
Would you recommend for others to apply for this opportunity and why?
Totally! It's a great opportunity to step out of your normal work and explore something new.
The LIANZA Paul Reynolds (No Numpties) Grant is worth $5,000.
Applications close May 30, 2019.