AIM Brighter Day conservation grant – Gordon Russell Design Museum

The Brighter Day funding from AIM and the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars Charitable Trust has enabled the museum to digitise a significant proportion of the archive collection, preserving the remarkable story of Gordon Russell and his company, and unlocking new opportunities for research, engagement and income generation.

Townsweb Archiving were appointed to undertake the digitisation, beginning with the collection of over 3,000 photographs. They are due to complete the final phase of the project – the large format design drawings – this month. Once complete the images will be transferred to secure cloud-based digital asset management system, providing a fully searchable archive. We will then be able to see the collection together for the first time, and to catalogue images with the support of volunteers.

We have shared stories from the collection via our digital channels throughout the project, thanks to the funding of the Digital Engagement Assistant role. This has been invaluable in building the museum’s profile and developing our understanding of our audiences. The project is central to our digital strategy, enabling us to draw together the different elements of the collection and create new ways to experience the Gordon Russell story.

Looking to the future, the Design Stories project will form the basis of new initiatives around learning, digital and community engagement, as well as income generation to improve the museum’s resilience.

Thanks to the support of the AIM and the Company of Arts Scholars Brighter Day Grant Scheme we will have an invaluable resource of digitised collections to realise our ambitions of widening access to, and understanding of, the collection and the company’s broader contribution to British design and education.

Verity Elson, Director, Gordon Russell Design Museum