Department of Education

A museum open to all

Fri Oct 07 09:30:00 BST 2016

Photo of the Victoria and Albert Museum building (image: David Castor)

— The Victoria and Albert Museum in London (image: David Castor).


The €3.8 million Accessible Resources for Cultural Heritage EcoSystems (ARCHES) project will develop new strategies and tools to facilitate access to cultural resources by people with difficulties associated with perception, memory, cognition and communication.

The project, largely funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, brings together thirteen institutions from four European countries including six major museums in the United Kingdom, Spain and Austria.

Existing digital resources – taken from the Internet (e.g. Europeana, a multi-lingual online collection of millions of digitised items from European museums, libraries, archives and multimedia collections) as well as from private archives – will be one of the main inputs for this innovative approach with the purpose of exploring and encouraging novel ways of understanding art. 

To simplify the experience of end users, the project will develop intuitive software suitable for use across a range of platforms, like smartphones and tablets.

In partnership with the Open University, the University of Bath will coordinate this ambitious study and will lead on the development of the educational model.

The University of Bath is represented by Dr Simon Hayhoe from the Department of Education, in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences. Dr Hayhoe specialises in the arts and cultural education of people with sensory and physical impairments.

Project partners