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Digital Humanities and Science Museum Group: A Landscape Study

Digital Humanities is a growing area in the cultural heritage sector. It can be understood as a set of approaches that combine computational methods with humanities content and questioning.

This six-month research project aimed to enable Science Museum Group (SMG) to take a strategic approach to funding applications and areas of research interest going forward. The research presents the most relevant approaches for cultural heritage collections from the wide range of evolving digital humanities methods, while considering the affordances of SMG’s collection and existing resources, both digital and analogue.


This six-month landscape study hoped to shape SMG’s approach to digital humanities. The project aimed to produce a wide and deep landscape study to better understand digital humanities methods and practices, and the ways they could address the SMG’s research, digital and public engagement ambitions around its collection (approx. 7.3 million items across a vast array of object types and subject areas).


This research project sought to comprehensively understand and present the latest digital humanities methods and their potential application to cultural heritage collections. The main outcome is a landscape study detailing findings on these current digital humanities methods and how they have been and could be applied to the SMG’s collections. Digital Humanities and Science Museum Group: A Landscape Study included:

  • S.W.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) framework analysis of SMG’s use of digital humanities methods,
  • An annotated glossary of digital humanities methods for heritage collections,
  • A list of existing SMG digital humanities projects,
  • Some ideas for potential digital humanities projects at SMG.


Digital Humanities and Science Museum Group: A Landscape Study  


  • Rhiannon Lewis, Researcher and Doctoral research candidate, School of Advanced Study, University of London
  • John Stack, Oversaw project, Digital Director, Science Museum Group
  • Dr Tim Boon, Oversaw project, Head of Research & Public History, Science Museum Group


This work was supported by the Additional Student Development Fund (ASDF) which was provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for collaborative doctoral partnership (CDP) students.


Please email Rhiannon Lewis