Small museums thinking ‘BIG’ Part Two.

Hi. Good Morning. How are you? I’m fine and dandy.


I suppose you are wondering what exactly the picture above is? Yes? No? Maybe? Well I shall explain anyway. It is a Marconi radio tower. It was first used to send radio waves between Howth, Ireland and Holyhead, Wales when radio was first invented by a certain Mr. Marconi.

There he is Mr. Marconi. Oh and he’s with his radio.

The radio tower is now home to the Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Radio. It was originally built as a watch tower (a Martello tower) to guard against a Napoleonic invasion of Ireland. It got it’s name from the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland who nicknamed the radio service as ‘The Old Hurdy Gurdy.’ And the name stuck. It really is a brilliant name.

It’s now curated by a man named Pat. The museum has just recently begun cataloguing it’s collection and the use of social media. It has a blog and a twitter account. These approaches are free and people can easily access them. This museum is a great example of small museum’s thinking ‘BIG.’ They are utilizing resources without having to spend much money. 

This sort of approach is also called ‘Digital Mindset.’ Digital mindset being how people approach digital media and social media. The ideal person would be present on blogs, facebook, twitter etc. A lot of organisations are still reluctant to utilize these free tools, which would be a negative digital mindset.

To counteract this, we as a museum community, need to show colleagues in museums and heritage sites how other organisations are successfully using blogs, facebook, twitter etc. The Hurdy Gurdy museum being a very good example of this. It may take a long time for everyone to come on board for this sort of thinking, but with more and more evidence being presented that digital is the way forward, some people might find themselves adopting a ‘digital mindset’ sooner rather than later.

I leave you with a link to this article on ‘Digital Mindset,’ and how it can be approached with small museums with low budgets. This is written by Jasper Visser, author of the ‘Museum of the Future’ blog.

In my next blog post, I shall talk about the use of twitter and ‘tweet-ups,’ and how they can promote museums on social media. I will also talk about how ‘tweet-up’s are being used for fellow museum professionals to meet and collaborate with each other.

Pictures are linked to their original sources.

Just a little update : To find out more about the project at the Hurdy Gurdy Museum please click here:



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