Towards a National Collection Programme Directorate

Lead Research Organisation: Historic Environment Scotland
Department Name: Education and Outreach


'Towards a National Collection: Opening UK Heritage to the World' is a five-year research programme funded under the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strategic Priorities Fund. Led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the programme aims to benefit researchers and audiences of all kinds by making the UK's unparalleled museum, library and heritage collections increasingly discoverable as a unified 'virtual collection'.

The programme will support two grant stages - eight small-scale 'Foundation' projects led by the AHRC's Independent Research Organisations (IRO) and delivered in partnership with UK Higher Education Institutions (HEI); and up to five large-scale 'Discovery' projects led and delivered by partnerships between the AHRC IROs and UK HEIs, with further collaboration with local and regional cultural, third sector or community organisations.

The programme directorate will lead and co-ordinate the programme, ensuring that the range of funded projects work together in a complementary way to demonstrate the value of unifying collections across types and geographies, and creating public-facing outputs that can be displayed to, and tested with, large-scale audiences across the UK. In addition, the directorate will undertake and commission additional research that underpins or connects the portfolio of grant-funded projects. The directorate will lead on communicating the ambitions and achievements of the programme to both stakeholders and the public, and on making recommendations as part of ensuring a legacy for the work.

The directorate will be based in Historic Environment Scotland and will comprise a Director, a Senior Digital Research Analyst and a Communications & Events Coordinator.


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