Museums and social inclusion: the GLLAM report

RCMG was commissioned by the Group for Large Local Authority Museums (GLLAM) to undertake research into museums, galleries and social inclusion within its membership. The research was funded by GLLAM, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

Key findings

The research showed that museums and galleries can make a unique contribution towards addressing issues of social inclusion.  Museums have the potential to not only tackle the key indicators of social exclusion (health, crime, unemployment and education), but also play a wider, and even unique, role in tackling disadvantage, inequality and discrimination.

It looks at the scope of museums' and galleries' work towards social inclusion and paints a broad picture of the activities and issues that have characterised their approach to social inclusion agendas. It highlights the reasons why the contributions of some museum services to social inclusion have gone unnoticed or unrecognised by those outside the organisation.  The report also looks in detail at the outcomes of museum initiatives aimed at tackling exclusion and highlights the principles on which best practice in social inclusion work is based.

The report makes some preliminary conclusions and suggests the steps required to better position museums and galleries to become effective agents of social inclusion.

Outcome

A key outcome from the research was an advocacy document that shows the contribution that large local authority museums can make to the social inclusion agenda.