Socially purposeful organisations

RCMG has powerfully shaped the way we understand the social roles, potentials and responsibilities of museums, galleries and heritage sites. Through a trajectory of interlinked, experimental and collaborative research projects — ‘thinking with’ international, national and regional cultural organisations — the Centre has generated new insights and concepts, methodologies and practices, that have enabled museums to re-focus their aims and ambitions in relation to social needs, concerns and challenges.

Research has revealed an in-depth understanding of what it means for museums to be socially purposeful, proactive and relevant organisations that have meaning and resonance for individuals and communities. This work has had a profound impact upon professional practice and policy in the UK and internationally enabling cultural organisations, large and small, to become dynamic, ethical and inclusive and to play a central role in the social, cultural and civic life of their communities.

(Code: R: = Research, E: = Event, P: = Publication)

P: Position or no position? Museums, Leadership and Social Change (Sophie Leighton, Clore Leadership Fellow, 2019)

R: Museu do Samba, Brazil, April 2016 - March 2017

P: Museu do Samba Research and Evaluation Report (PDF, 908KB) (RCMG and Museu do Samba 2017)

E: Building dynamic, inclusive and socially purposeful museums and archives, 17-21 October 2016

E: Museum 2015: The Agile Museum Conference, January 2015

E: The Cultural Value of Engaging with Museums and Galleries, February 2015

R: The Cultural Value of Engaging with Museums and Galleries, February – June 2014

P: Cultural Value. User value of museums and galleries: a critical review of the literature (PDF, 382KB) (RCMG & AHRC 2014)

R: New Walk Museum Vision, October 2012-April 2013

P: Establishing a Vision: New Walk Museum and the Story of Leicester (PDF, 3,312KB) (Arts Council England, Leicester City Council and RCMG 2013)

R: Developing a Research Network to Advance 21st Century Museum Ethics in Theory and Practice, August 2011 - 2013

E: The Mindful Museum, February 2013

R: Evaluation of Mapping the Change Phase 2, Hackney Museum, May 2011 - December 2012

P: The Impact, Success and Significance of Mapping the Change (Hackney Museums and RCMG 2013)

R: Growing the Social Role of Botanic Gardens: Communities in Nature, January 2012-November 2012

R: Growing the Social Role of Botanic Gardens, September 2010 - September 2011

P: Let's Talk, A Case Study: Change Growth Impact (BGCI and RCMG 2012)

P: Growing the Social Role: Partnerships in the Community (BGCI, 2011)

R: Redefining the role of Botanic Gardens - towards a new social purpose (PDF, 1,373KB), July 2009 - June 2010

P: Towards a New Social Purpose: Redefining the role of botanic gardens (2010)

R: A Catalyst for Change: The Social Impact of the Open Museum, October 2000-August 2002

P: A Catalyst for Change: The Social Impact of the Open Museum (PDF, 423KB) (2002)

R: Developing new audiences and promoting social inclusion: National Museums and Galleries of Wales, January 2002-July 2002

R: Not for the likes of you: A Resource for Practitioners, September 2001

P: Not for the Likes of You: A Resource for Practitioners (PDF, 797KB) (2001)

R: Including Museums: Perspectives on museums, galleries and social inclusion, July 2001

P: Including Museums: Perspectives on museums, galleries and social inclusion (PDF, 761KB) (2001)

R: Small Museums and Social Inclusion, October 2000 - March 2001

P: Small Museums and Social Inclusion (PDF, 484KB) (RCMG for MLA 2001)

R: Museums and Social Inclusion: The GLLAM Report, November 1999 - October 2000

P: Museums and Social Inclusion: The GLLAM Report (PDF, 1,091KB) (2000)