The most disconcerting thing about my walks through the centre of Edinburgh at present is
- A popular chocolate brand originally from York; best known for the Chocolate Orange.
- A long looped weaved fabric that can absorb large amounts of water (It also makes for very cosy dressing gowns)
- A Scotsman with interests in technology, history, art and museums (especially when they combine).
Professional Interests & Experience
My primary interests lie in the digitisation of cultural heritage and the long term preservation of digital collections – and more importantly how they can be shared with wider audiences in meaningful and engaging ways.
I am presently Head of Digital Infrastructure at Art UK, where I oversee the day to day management and improvement projects of the foundation’s digital infrastructure, including the online home of the UK’s public art collections, artuk.org.
Before I joined Art UK, I worked in several roles within the National Galleries of Scotland related to a major project to digitise their extensive works on paper and photography collections. This also involved a complete overhaul of its collections website and databases, allowing over 60,000 data records and images of Scotland’s national art collection to be seen online for the first time. I've also worked on the National Library of Scotland’s digitisation programme, primarily on their rare books collections; as well as contributing to Digital Preservation projects within the library.
This experience has given me an in-depth knowledge of the relevant technologies, standards and processes associated with the publication, presentation and exchange of cultural heritage data online, in addition to extensive experience with identifying and defining audience focused improvements that can create accessible, engaging and highly relevant resources for a wide breadth of users with interest in the visual arts.
Before I fell into all things digital collections based, I spent a few years in Visitor Experience at the National Museum of Scotland. As well as helping to engage the public with the collections on display, I also learned how to operate a Corliss steam engine and picked up a wide range of fascinating facts to retain forever more (for example, did you know Catherine the Great played a minor role in the invention of the rollercoaster?)
Education and Personal Interests
I hold an honours undergraduate degree in Internet Computer Science, from the University of St Andrews. Projects worked on and completed during this time included a web based ticketing system for cultural organisations and an image viewing terminal built using phidget interfaces.