The Reflex Podcast is for anyone interested in using physical and virtual spaces to communicate more effectively. Each weekly episode contains useful and actionable advice from industry experts. It is available on all podcast platforms.

Title: Ep. 7 Using technology with bring museum collections to life

Guest: Dr Paul Collins, Jaleh Hearn Curator for Ancient Near East, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Description: In this episode we discuss the redevelopment of the Ancient Middle East gallery at the Ashmolean Museum, and how technology can be used to increase access to objects and ancient cultures.

Key Takeaways:

  • Technology helps us to increase access to museum collections
  • Technology helps to communicate academic research
  • Museum collections are not static


Time codes

1.33 OPENING QUESTION: What do you think is the most important piece of tech in the workspace, and why?

2.07 What is a curator, and what do they do?

3.01 Deciding what museum collections to present to visitors and how

4.51 The redevelopment of the Ancient Middle East gallery- an overview

7.55 The new digital introduction to the gallery

9.52 Report on the gallery redevelopment

11.18 Paul’s favourite parts of the gallery redevelopment

14.21 Interactive pods- Cuneiform writing and the Sumerian language

16.52 Bringing a dead language to life

18.45 A flexible gallery design to allow for future changes

21.32 Future plans for the gallery- increasing access for non-English speakers

22.40 ‘Future-proofing’ the gallery

23.21 CLOSING QUESTION: What do you think will be the next big tech change in the workspace, and why?

25.35 Final thoughts

26.27 Contact details

27.21 Key takeaways


Episode related links

Listen to the Ashmolean podcast Fingerprints. Episode 4 is with Dr Paul Collins: A King from the Trenches

For more information on the Ancient Middle East gallery and its contents, visit the dedicated gallery webpage

Read the Reflex case study on the Middle East gallery redevelopment:


Dr Paul Collins contact details

You can view Paul’s biography, contact details, and list of publications here


About the Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. It came into existence in 1682, when the wealthy antiquary Elias Ashmole gifted his collection to the University. It opened as Britain’s first public museum, and the world’s first university museum, in 1683.

The Ashmolean collections are world famous, ranging from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art, telling human stories across cultures and across time.

For more information on the Ashmolean, and planning your visit, go to the Ashmolean website.

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