Connecting Early Medieval European Collections


This project aims to provide a new business model for durable collaboration on a network / exchange basis. In order to establish this network, CEMEC will create a mobile exhibition (at 3 venues) and 5 national presentations with generic curatorial content, together with technical partners and the associated scientific partners, who will be able to create on-going spin-off research. This integrated network of museums and technical (research) institutions will greatly facilitate future collaboration between the CEMEC partners and other institutions and, at the same time, it will provide the CEMEC partners with a shared pool of knowledge, re-usable tools, contents and best-practice insights.

Economic circumstances require museums to be more cost efficient, flexible and innovative. The answer to these issues is a European network that connects not only collections but also curatorial expertise and initiatives for outreach. New ways of digital data acquisition and sharing (digital) content on collections and objects will be an essential part of this project.
In collaboration with internationally renowned technical partners, and museum/curatorial expertise will lead to a ‘new museography’ that addresses not only the essential need to reach new audiences, but will also lead to new ways of collaboration and approaches to sharing and exchange of cultural assets (collections).
Pilot studies (e.g. studies conducted in the context of the major, European projects VMusT, meSch) indicate that major progress can be made by means of digital reconstructions and the ‘virtual’ presence of objects to complement a real (physically present) collection. CEMEC will focus not only on digital applications themselves, but also on their connection with the physical space of the museum, the visitor flow, the presence or absence of artefacts nearby, on the interaction design, conceptual maps, and the most ideal communicative registers to adopt.
More, and more diverse, use of IT in a museum context will not only greatly add to user (visitor) experience:  a greater use of IT, virtualizing historical networks also enhances our understanding of collections. Related to this, this project also aims to address an the problem that many museum collections of Early Medieval Europe history are presented in a rather isolated way, focusing mainly on regional developments. Through closer collaboration with partner institutions, innovative use of IT, and CEMEC also aims to tackle this problem.
The proposed network, in sum, is not only of academic interest (in that it advances our understanding of early Medieval collections throughout Europe, and increases our knowledge of connections between various regions in the centuries following the fall of the western Roman Empire), but also –and especially- to Heritage institutions such as museums and archives: it will provide these institutions with a new business plan for collection management and offer new ways to attract a larger audience, whilst improving visitor experience. 

  • A proposal for the Creative Europe programme

  • Consortium  with partners and associated partners
  • Museumpartners:

  • Allard Pierson Museum- University of Amsterdam (NL)/University Leiden & Utrecht
  • LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn (D)/ University Bonn
  • Hungarian National Museum (H)/Eötvös Lóránd University, Budapest 
  • Byzantine and Christian Museum Athens (G)
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerch ITABC (It)/ National Museum for Early Middle Ages, Rome
  • Institute of Iberian Archaeology (E) / Museum of Jaen
  • University College Dublin (Ir) / National Museum Ireland
  • The Royal Museums for Art and History, Brussels
  • Technical/creative partners:

  • DEN foundation (NL)
  • CNR-ITABC (It)
  • EVOCA (It)
  • NoHo (Ir)
  • Fraunhofer-IGD (D)



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Published by  Allard Pierson Museum

27 October 2018