This project seeks to pilot the use of digital technologies to enhance visitor experience and engagement at the Galleries of Justice Museum (GoJ). The material for this pilot will be drawn from the GoJ’s unique and under-utilised archival materials, and will focus on work and play for young people in penal institutions at the turn of the century.
The GoJ is the largest independent museum in Nottinghamshire. It occupies the Grade II* historic site of the county courts, county gaol and county police headquarters and interprets the history of crime and punishment from the medieval period to the twentieth century. In 2005, the museum was selected as the new home for Her Majesty’s Prison Service collection, from the Home Office. The collection contains over 20,000 artefacts, archival material, and photographs dating from 1784 to 2001. It depicts the history of imprisonment from the eighteenth century to modern day, including punishment, religion, medicine, education, work, and administration.
The museum currently engages with visitors through a range of tours including audio, performance, and a virtual tour for visitors with limited mobility. However there is potential to utilise digital technology to further enhance visitor engagement with the museum’s extensive collections and archives. The project will seek to identify ways to develop a dialogue with visitors, and to encourage them to challenge their understandings of prisons as punishment and rehabilitation.
This work will involve ethnographic studies of current visitor engagement, a design workshop with key stakeholders, a pilot deployment of technology, and evaluations of its impact.
Partners: Galleries of Justice