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Improvement of Museum Management

The objective of this Work Package is to enhance competence among museums directors on management issues with specific relevance to archaeological open-air museums, including health and safety issues relating to open-air constructions, working conditions for staff outdoors, environmental and ‘greening’ issues. Other issues include maintenance of reconstructions, access to museums (public transport et cetera), waste management, and for example accessibility and safety issues relating to visitors. This objective will also include some experiments in applying environmentally friendly and health conscious ways of heating prehistoric houses, focusing both on staff health and opportunities for offering school accommodation in such houses. Our museums need to improve our routines regarding safety regulations for our staff with clear guidelines in conjunction with our daily work. Themes are:
Health: How can we improve our working conditions regarding a stressful environment in summers?
Safety: Which risk factors do we have and what can we learn from others to improve?
Condition for the staff and management: Our work hours, housing conditions, health plans, etc.
Maintenance of reconstructions in applying environmentally friendly and health conscious ways of heating prehistoric houses, focusing on both staff health and opportunities for offering school accommodation in such houses. What are the best way (best practice) to take care of our reconstructions in a safe way, both for our environment and our staff?
We will look into the development of both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR & AR) in open-air cultural environments. The role of Volunteers is very important to our museums. There is not a single co-ordinator who does not rely on this ‘extra force’, including their social strengths. Some parties, like Foteviken (SE) have much experience with this, reason for them to coordinate this aspect. This will also be about social inclusion of the less advantaged.

There will be an annual seminar in this Work Package, normally linked to a meeting of the Steering Committee.

Activities and Products

A product for OpenArch is a tangible result of an effort (in time or money) to fulfill any of the goals set in the Work Plans. They are realised in connection with the project activities.

EXARC article: Inclusion of visually impaired visitors

In order to address visually impaired visitors, a German archaeological open-air museum, member of EXARC, developed a tour with objects through the three most important eras of the museum.

Management of Open-Air Museums

This manual is hopefully the starting point of managing an open air museum. Thanks to the OpenArch project we have been able to collect and analyze the practices and routines of open-air museums from all over Europe. This manual will show and teach you valuable skills and techniques.

Innovation, creativity and collaboration with local business in la Ciutadella Ibèrica de Calafell

During the implementation of OpenArch there have been some development as per innovation and creativity aspects, especially related with the dialogue with the visitor.

Museums and their local area

It has always been important to see the local region in the museum and the museum in the local region. With that we mean: museums refer to nearby hotels, shops and restaurants so their visitors will find their way and ...

Seminar on museum management, Calafell, October 2015

The last in the series of 5 seminars on the management of archaeological open-air museums was held at Calafell on 7 October. It was used as an opportunity to take stock of our achievements over the last five years and to identify in particular the achievements of the project in this area...

Sleepovers and volunteers: presentation from the Ancient Technology Centre at the St Fagans conference

During the St Fagans Conference, Luke Winter, Director of the Ancient Technology Centre, gave an inspirational talk on the role of his organisation in delivering sleepover experiences for school children, and the place of volunteers in the ATC.

Transport links to museums: presentation by the Scottish Crannog Centre at the St Fagans conference

Barrie Andrian provided a wide-ranging and thought-provoking paper at the St Fagans conference on managing open-air museums. Drawing on her own experience at the Scottish Crannog Centre she explored a number of themes...

Green issues: presentation on managing the St Fagans farm and gardens at the St Fagans conference

Environmental issues are of increasing importance in all organisations. As part of the St Fagans conference the opportunity was taken to introduce OpenArch delegates to the ways in which these issues are addressed in two key areas: garden and farm management.

Green issues: presenting the construction of a new gallery at St Fagans, during the St Fagans Conference

St Fagans is currently building a new gallery which, when completed, will achieve a BREEAM rating of "excellent" and which will contain at least 10% recycled materials.

Accessibility, staffing, maintenance: touring the new roundhouses at St Fagans

One of the main products from Work Package 2 are the new roundhouses at St Fagans. These roundhouses have been built as a result of a careful review of building management practices at the museums of the different OpenArch partners, as well as...

Volunteers: presentation by Andy Spencer at the St Fagans conference

During the St Fagans conference, Andy Spencer, of the Ironbridge Institute, spoke about the results of his Europe-wide review of volunteer management at archaeological open-air museums.

Disabled access: Presentation from Rogaland County Council at the St Fagans Conference

During the St Fagans conference on museum management, Linda Nilsen Ask, gave the audience a clear and focused presentation on the work that Rogaland County Council are doing to ensure that their public spaces are accessible to all.

Butser attends OpenArch Conference in Wales

A team of three members of staff from Butser Ancient Farm, long time EXARC member and an example to many others, attended the OpenArch Conference in Wales. EXARC organised the visit following an initiative by St Fagans.

EXARC article: Access to Cultural Heritage Sites for All

The purpose of Universal Design is to increase people’s opportunities to participate in society through the design of products, services, methods of communication, buildings and built-up spaces that are accessible to as many as possible.

Seminar: St Fagans conference on managing archaeological open-air musums

The St Fagans conference took place from 25 - 29 May 2015, including travel days. The conference was attended by over 90 people (including 47 demonstrator stalls at the craft festival), and was supported by staff from five Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales venues.

EXARC article: Making Butser Ancient Farm More Accessible

EXARC's idea is to showcase several of its members in how they meet special needs from their visitors regarding for example accessibillity. This article in the EXARC Journal describes how Butser Ancient Farm meets these needs.

Sleepovers in buildings: visit to the Ancient Technology Cente

The provision of a sleepover facility at St Fagans is an important part of the organisation's plans, and also of the WP2 programme.

Sleepover facilities: Viminacium

The conference arranged by the Viminacium partners relied heavily on their own purpose built accommodation, dining and lecture facilities. This provided a perfect opportunity for St Fagans to examine the way in which this system operated as part of the delivery of work package 2.

Green issues: growing your own thatch at St Fagans

The distance which materials travel to be used in construction, as well as the costs involved, are important points in considering the environmental impact of building in archaeological open-air museums.

Disabled access: presentation on new buildings at the Viminacium conference

St Fagans National History Museum presented the results of a visitor survey on their site which had highlighted the number of disabled visitors who had come to their museum.

Open-air museums in Sweden meeting at Bunges Museum

FREE-meeting had the theme of the organization and held in cooperation between Bunge Museum and the Gotland Museum. we met up in the ancient hall of Visby and was given the opportunity to both watch their show and listen to their managertold of Gotland museum and how they are organized.

Seminar on museum management, Jamtli, Sweden

In early July 2014, a group of managers and curators from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales visited Jamtli (in Östersund, Sweden) to discuss the management approaches at our two organisations and to assess the impact that this had on the visitor experience on the site.

Accessibility and staffing issues: presentation on new roundhouses at the Kierikki conference

St Fagans National History Museum gave a conference presentation on progress being made on their building of new roundhouses at St Fagans.

Studying archaeological Open Air Museums in Sweden from a maintenance perspective of the reconstructed houses.

Work with the booklet first started with information gathering and researching the historic background of open-air museums. Early in the process we decided to examine the development of open-air museums from their meager beginnings dating back to the 1900's.

Working conditions: insulating a 17th-century house

The aim of this project was to improve the quality of the working environment in a 17th-century farmhouse which is open to the public throughout the winter.

Maintenance on site: excavating an Iron Age roundhouse

After over twenty years, our old Celtic Village finally closed to the public in February 2013. This was partly due to the natural effects of time, wind and rain which had badly damaged the largest of our three roundhouses; and partly because of the decision to redevelop our site, with plans to build a new village in 2014.

Seminar on museum management, St Fagans, August 2012

On August 11 - 12 a small workshop was held at St Fagans National History Museum, Wales, attended by four contributors from the Netherlands, Italy and Germany as well as Wales. The aim of this diverse group was to begin thinking about the issues which face Archaeological Open-Air Museums and ...

Partner meeting, Foteviken 2012

Steve Burrow and Mared Maggs from St Fagans National History Museum visited Foteviken Museum on 28 and 29 June 2012 to discuss progress on Work Package 2: Management of Museums.

Volunteers and building maintenance: a case study from Foteviken

Volunteer help is an important part of the management ethos at Foteviken Museum - they assist in the populating and presentation of the museum, but also in the construction and maintenance of buildings.

Fire safety: lessons from Parc Montale

Fire damage is a key risk factor for archaeological open-air museums, and it is an issue taken very seriously at Parc Montale in Italy.

Safety on site: Light level survey in Iron Age roundhouse

This survey was designed to assess light levels within the Moel y Gerddi roundhouse, in order to understand better how the house functioned as a visitor experience, and also to provide a baseline for study of light levels in the new, Bryn Eryr roundhouses due to be built in 2013.

Maintenance on site: Impact of fire lighting on thatch temperature

This survey was designed to test the potential of a thermal imaging camera as a tool for investigating and managing the environments of reconstructed buildings. The Moel y Gerddi roundhouse at St Fagans was constructed by Peter Reynolds in 1992.

IMTAL representatives visit Foteviken

Early autumn 2011 it was decided that two key people if IMTAL Europe would be involved in the organisation of the upcoming OpenArch conference in Foteviken.

Maintenance on site: designing and building the Bryn Eryr roundhouses

Designing and building Bryn Eryr. The designing and building of Bryn Eryr, a group of Iron Age roundhouses, has been one of the central contributions of St Fagans National History Museum to the OpenArch project.

Maintenance of buildings: visit to Hunebedcentrum

During the OpenArch conference at the Hunebedcentrum, the opportunity was taken (with the support of the Centre's managers) to review the reconstructed Neolithic house in order to find areas which St Fagans could learn from in the building of its own Iron Age houses.

Partner meeting, Foteviken 2011

Steve Burrow from St Fagans National History Museum visited Foteviken Museum to begin work on the collaboration between the two museums on the delivery of Work Package 2.

Sleepovers: developing a medieval sleepover at St Fagans

The goal of this project was to develop a venue at St Fagans that will allow school groups to stay overnight, thereby broadening and deepening the learning experience that is available.

Museum volunteers as entrepreneurs inside an archaeological open-air museum

Over the last years, the Netherlands has seen an increase of unemployment, also under young professionals. Finding a job is difficult because companies have a hard time obtaining new clients and projects.