The NEO Collections project

Nutzerzentriert (user-centred) Explorativ (explorative) Open – Digital museum’s collections in the 21st century

Three partners are behind this project: the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, the Übersee-Museum Bremen and the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. They started NEO Collections together in December 2019.

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Nationalmuseum Stockholm

The aim of the collaboration was to look for new ways to work with museum collections – online and on-site. The Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) is supporting the four-year project in the Fonds Digital (Digital Fund) of the “Kultur Digital” (digital culture) program.

Kultur Digital (digital culture)
Kulturstiftung des Bundes

News from the project “NEO-Collections” – Digital Residencies

You need our eyes to see us (Event)

On June 27 2023, we are celebrating the premiere of three digital prototypes and a new storyshow. These playful and imaginative artworks were made through the NEO-Collections project. They showcase a new approach to digital co-production and audience engagement.

To the agenda

Can digital redefine our relationship with museum collections? (Event)

On April 27, 2022, 9 am to 11 am (CEST), we reported on the initial findings from our Digital Residency program and shared the results with an international audience. Together with our Residents, we asked the question, “Can digital redefine our relationship with museum collections?”

To the online event

As part of NEO Collections, three digital residencies were offered at the Übersee-Museum. Here you can find more information about the Digital Residencies:

More information on digital residencies:

To the Digital Residencies programme

Focus on collections

The core and “treasure” of every museum are its collections. Museums have long since ceased to be merely places for imparting knowledge. They offer a framework for multicultural exchange, discussion and debate on topics from the past and present. They digitise collection holdings and make them accessible online. This also changes the view of the audience and possible needs.

  • What interests do people have in museum collections and what kind of access inspires them?
  • How and what can they contribute to researching and enriching the collections?
  • Which formats or products can help to enable or improve the exchange with the audience?

People in the NEO Collections project devote themselves to fundamental questions like these. The colleagues involved bring different backgrounds and experiences to the project. Through different experiments and workshops, agile working, digital, collaborative thinking and changing perspectives are promoted.

A network of teams

The guide and companion is Abhay Adhikari, director of the “Digital Identities” network. All museum staff involved in NEO Collections work in small teams in their institutions and work as autonomously as possible in manageable project steps that follow one another quickly. They can experiment and test in an open-ended way before evaluating and, if necessary, correcting or discarding a chosen course. In addition, central project topics are regularly brought to the centre of attention within the framework of various workshops. “In 2020, for example, the colleagues at the Übersee-Museum had ‘digital curating’, at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe ‘prototyping and innovations’ and at the National Museum Sweden ‘access to digital collections’ on the agenda,” explains Marleen Grasse, project coordinator at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg.

In the project’s blog, those involved will keep you up to date:

NEO Collections on Medium platform

Funded by the Digital Culture Programme of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation). Funded by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media).