Eight small-scale foundation projects have been commissioned, by expert peer review, to support collaborative research between the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) independent research organisations and higher education institutions. They began on 1 February 2020 and are scheduled to complete in 2021 to 2022.
These projects aim to lay the foundations for a virtual national collection by identifying and addressing the current or future challenges facing the formation of such a collection.
Read the foundation projects interim reports.
Urgency call projects
Towards a National Collection has also funded three projects under an urgency call. These projects were selected to provide a critical and time-sensitive evaluation of the digital practice undertaken by museums during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on data collected during the first lockdown, the urgency projects will help to provide much-needed guidance on how cultural institutions can better prepare for digital access.
Find out more about the three COVID-19 urgency projects.
Following an open funding opportunity for applications, we are currently in the process of commissioning five Discovery Projects. Each of these projects will involve a core collaboration between one or more UK higher education institutions and one or more of AHRC’s independent research organisations, as well as further collaboration with local and regional cultural, third sector or community organisations.
As well as addressing some of the specific physical, digital and organisational solutions needed to bring together disparate collections across the UK, the aim is that discovery projects will together add up to more than the sum of their parts, working 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, diverse and large-scale audiences across the country.
The call for Discovery Projects is now closed. Find details of the outcomes.