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One by one UK US: Building digitally confident museums

An initiative bringing best-practice techniques and tools to improve museums' digital output.

One by One UK-US (ObO UK-US) is a multi-partner international initiative, bringing together cultural organisations, policy makers, academics, professional bodies, support agencies, and communities of practice, to build digitally confident museums. One by One helps museums of any size better define, improve, measure and embed the digital literacy of their staff and volunteers in all roles and at all levels.


The project asks:

  • What are the forms of organisational leadership, business processes, institutional cultures and professional practices that need to be in place, inside the museum, to support new forms of visitor experience and participation?
  • How can new transatlantic partnerships between both existing and new communities of cultural organisations and digital scholars help to identify, understand and develop these new practices and processes?
  • What are the effective and scalable collaborative tools and methods that can be used to support and sustain these new research partnerships within the profession and the academy?


Track 2 of the project – Exploring Everyday Digital Practices at the Science Museum Group – involved the undertaking of a year-long ethnographic study of the Science Museum Group exploring the everyday digital practices and behaviours that occur across the organisation and its workforce. This track was led by Dr Sophie Frost and took the form of qualitative one-to-one interviews, small focus groups and podcast recordings.

The resulting podcast – The Hidden Constellation – explores the future of work in museums, presenting a leading STEM museum service thinking about the value and impact of technology in the work that it does, and the work it will do. By spending time with volunteers, staff and trustees at the Science Museum Group in England, this podcast presents an alternative constellation of museum work - a map of digital labour that is disrupting traditional hierarchies of museum expertise, heralding radical forms of science participation. The Hidden Constellation was written and presented by Dr Sophie Frost, with sound design and production by Chris Thorpe-Tracey (Lo-Fi Arts) and artwork by Matt C. Stokes. It can be downloaded on SpotifyApple Podcasts and as a podcast feed.


  • John Stack, Digital Director


The project partnership includes:

Research partners:

  • Haitham Eid (Director, Museum Studies Program, Southern University at New Orleans)
  • Ross Parry (Professor of Museum Technology, and Deputy Head, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester)

Museum partners:

  • American Women’s History Initiative
  • Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales
  • Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
  • National Museums Scotland
  • Science Museum Group
  • Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Victoria and Albert Museum

Commissioning partners:

  • American Alliance of Museums (US)
  • Museums Association (UK)

Community partners:

  • Museums Computer Group (MCG) (UK)
  • Museum Computer Network (MCN) (US)

Funded by the AHRC’s UK-US Collaboration for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions’ programme through the UKRI Fund for International Collaboration.

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