Making it FAIR case study: The Museum of Military Medicine

The Making it FAIR project was developed in response to challenges faced by smaller museums struggling to engage online with audiences during lockdown, and beyond. Eight small museums worked with a range of partners including Culture24, Collections Trust and The Audience Agency to explore and develop their digital content and storytelling with collections. Over five months, each museum experimented with new ideas, approaches, processes and, where relevant, technical solutions, to help them build digital skills and to create engaging, relevant, fit-for-purpose digital content.

This is one of a set of eight case studies. You can find a summary of all of the Making it FAIR project case studies here.

Jump to

What did they want to find out? | What did they do? | What were the challenges? | What did they learn? | What’s next? | Top tips and insights

What did they want to find out?

  • How we could increase the museums social media output
  • What different platforms were open to us
  • Who does this well?
  • How could we stand out?

What did they do?

  • Thought about the stories in our collection
  • Hired an additional volunteer
  • Spoke to mentors about ‘story writing’, ‘analytics’ and ‘technology’
  • Started a social media serial – to tell a year long story (this example is from June ’21 and this example is from Sept ’21).

What were the challenges?

  • Setting realistic expectations
  • Volunteer time, staff time, analysing content
  • Understanding the analytics and how they vary by each platform and taking the time to study them
  • Reacting to and engaging with comments on our social channels
  • Challenging routines.

What did they learn?

  • What platforms exist and what they do
  • How to make a social media post (volunteers)
  • How to use in house tech (phones etc)
  • Understanding of what the analytics are telling us
  • What do we consider success? Quantitive vs Qualitative.

What’s next?

  • Redevelopment of the website
  • Incorporating a ‘curators corner’ blog on the website
  • Experiment with different mediums and platforms – Videos, podcasting, Instagram, Tik-Tok?

Top tips and insights

  • Carefully select the audience you wish to target
  • Be wise and choose the right media with which to relay your story.

Funding and partners: Making It FAIR was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Towards a National Collection programme (TaNC) as part of UKRI’s call for COVID-19 projects. The project was led by University of York and partners were Collections Trust, Culture24, Museum of London Archaeology, The Audience Agency, Intelligent Heritage and Knowledge Integration.