Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Arran Rees

PhD Candidate

PGR Office, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

BA (Hons) History (Swansea University), MA Museum Studies (University of Leicester)

My research aims to examine the implications of museums collecting born-digital objects from social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I am particularly interested the conceptual barriers to collecting digital culture and whether existing professional collections management frameworks can accommodate social media and born-digital objects.

Through my research I intend to use case studies to identify shortfalls in museum processes and develop an effective model for acquiring social media objects in collaboration with the National Science and Media Museum.

Research Interests

  • Digital collecting in heritage institutions
  • Contemporary collecting practices
  • Popular culture and digital culture
  • Cultural collections management policy and procedures
  • Operational practices and organisational structures
  • Social media and the museum

Research Centres & Groups

Member of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage

 

External Appointments

Collaborating with the Collecting Social Photography project, a three year research project exploring how museums and archives should adapt their work practices around photography collections in the era of social media

PhD Thesis

The object of digital collecting: Developing social media collections in the museum.

Digital connectivity is becoming central to contemporary life as we record and document everyday activities online via social media. This digital culture is not adequately reflected and represented in cultural collections, with a generation of shared digital photography and social media platforms already at risk. My PhD interrogates and tests the implications of museums collecting from social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram.

My research addresses the conceptual barriers to collecting digital culture and explores whether existing collections management frameworks can accommodate social media and born-digital objects. Using case studies of current museum practice, I will identify shortfalls in procedures and develop an effective model for acquiring social media objects.

Professional Practice

  • Collections Information and Systems Manager at the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Collections Curator at the Cardiff Story Museum
  • Secretary and Trustee to the Welsh Museums Federation
  • Collections Manager at the Royal Mint Museum
  • Documentation Officer at Blaenau Gwent County Council

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