Robinson Cork Factory, Portalegre, Portugal (Herbert Media 2016)
Robinson Cork Factory, Portalegre, Portugal (Herbert Media 2016)

Our organisation would like to know if we are using our collections to our best advantage. Find out how other heritage sites interpret their collections and bring them to the public. From your research can you find any methods or ways that we could use to bring our collections to our audience in a new way?


City Hall, Portalegre, Portugal (Herbert Media 2016)
City Hall, Portalegre, Portugal (Herbert Media 2016)

In this task your group is required to investigate how various heritage sites use their collections to interpret their heritage to their audience. You will compare your findings with how your organisation uses it's collections to interact with your audience. See if you can find some new methods to bring your collections to life with your public. Pay particular attention how sites engage with people who have learning difficulties or a physical disability.


Below there are many links for you to explore, so divide your group in pairs and assign sites for these groups to explore and investigate. Your group will prepare a presentation in any format and present your findings to the rest of your group.

Questions you may want to answer:
How does your organisation use its collections with its public?
How many different ways did you find to interpret collections?
Have you found any ways which this could be improved?
How would you introduce one of these new methods into your organisation?


Web Sites who have an audience with Learning difficulties or disabilities

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum using Media to interpret their collections for SEN young people

Count Me In: Vocational Education and Training (VET) for special needs groups through the arts and cultural sector

Open Theatre Comany: Specialising in Non Verbal communication with SEN young people


Types of museum:

Encyclopedia Britannica: Types of museum, varieties of institutions dedicated to preserving and interpreting the material aspects of human activity and the environment.

Post Industrial Factory put to other use!

Olivia Creative Factory

The Robinson Factory

Connected Communities Project: 

Researching the Industrial and Post-Industrial Communities of the Swansea Valley

Birthplace of Industry. There are ten award-winning Museums spread along the valley beside the wild River Severn - still spanned by the world's first Iron Bridge.

Iron Bridge Museums

The Black Country Museum - Living Interpretation of Industrial Past


 Culture Coventry - Three very different museums

Herbert Museum:

Coventry Transport Museum:

Lunt Roman Fort:


Jorvik Viking Centre: The Jorvik Viking Centre

Living History: Little Woodham a Living History Village


Tools for heritage interpretation

Interpretation of Heritage: Museums Galleries Scotland, Tools and strategies for interpretation

Arts Council - Tools & Musemaker

Telling Our Stories “An Interpretation Manual for Heritage Partners”



Learning Outcomes

  • Know how different organisation interpret thier collections for different audiences
  • Develop communication and team working skills
  • Develop research skills
  • Improve own learning and performance
  • Develop presentations skills
  • Improve confidence and self -esteem
  • Understand the concepts of working in a team.

Knowledge acquired

  • Know how to find new ways for interpreting collections for new audiences
  • Know how to present findings as a team member
  • Know how to use the Internet for research
  • Developing team work and communication skills.

Skills acquired

  • Developing higher cognitive thinking skills as in synthesis, analysis and evaluation (Bloom’s Taxonomy)
  • Using the Internet to develop research skills
  • Develop their confidence to present in front of their peers and a recording device
  • Developing team work and communication skills.

Competences acquired

  • Responsibility and autonomy to be able to work in a team and as an individual to complete the task
  • Research, analyse, evaluate and present findings from research.
  • Competent to interpret their own collections in new ways for a new audience
  • Work in a team to complete assigned taks.


Now you know different ways of interpreting your collections, how would you bring your collections to a new audience who have learning difficulties? What further information do you need?