An English Language Museum in Winchester

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The English Project’s Ambition

Nicolas Lodge, Christopher Mulvey, Beryl Pratley

An English Language Museum

The English Project ( plans to open the world’s first English Language museum. We will do that in Winchester, Hampshire, England, and our aim is to provide a showcase of the language.

The mission of such a place should be to explore and explain the English language in order to educate and entertain the English speaker. That sets some clear parameters. The museum must be international; it must cover the globe; it must reach into the future; it must reach back to the past; it must focus on speakers; it must work with sounds; it must be intellectually first-class; it must amuse people; it must be accessible to all.

The English language is one of the greatest contributions of the British Isles to world culture. It has provided the medium of communication globally for politics, science, literature and commerce. It is the means by which hundreds of millions of people across the world define and express themselves.

Now imagine a place where you can explore this language in all its diversity, where you can summon up, through the power of interactive technology, the rich variety of English, hearing and seeing how it has evolved across the centuries, being constantly adapted and added to by peoples who have made it their own.

At the moment this place does not exist, but when it does exist, it will be a space where people can engage with the infinite possibilities of English, gaining a better understanding of its development and the way it serves its users – whatever their class or ethnic background and wherever in the world they live.

Above all such a place should enable English speakers to gain a better understanding of their own personal version of English. And because the individual experience of the language is so important, there should be plenty of scope for visitors to contribute their own voice, adding to the rich archive of the collection.

The intellectual quality of this showcase should be ensured by a powerful research function that draws on the work of academics from around the world. Partnerships with universities and institutions globally would ensure that the Museum had its finger on the pulse of the English language wherever spoken. Academic research should then feed into new exhibitions and undertakings.

The showcase’s physical presence should be amplified by internet access that makes available to a worldwide audience its wealth of resources and provides access to a wide range of archive material from its international partnerships. Completing the work of the museum would be extensive educational activities, providing outreach services and resources to teachers and learners of all kinds whether formally or informally in schools or colleges and whether visiting in person or virtually.

But why an English language museum, anyway?

In February 2009, the Norwegian Cultural Centre circulated a survey of the world’s language museums [1]. It lists forty-five, the majority of which are script and text museums. But fifteen museums deal with spoken language. The oldest language museum dates from 1927, the Esperanto Museum in Austria, and the next, from 1975, the Afrikaans Language Museum in South Africa. Five language museums have opened since the year 2000, and there are eight in planning. ‘This looks like a new trend in the international world of museums,’ says Peter Bakker of Denmark who plans to open a language museum in five years’ time. Meanwhile, the fifteen language museums fall into four groups.

First is the language museum that takes as its subject the languages of the world. Denmark’s International Language Museum aims to ‘provide insights into the diversity of the world’s more than 6000 languages’. In the same vein, the National Museum of Language in the United States has a mission ‘to enhance understanding of all aspects of language in history, contemporary affairs, and the future’. Spain’s House of Languages believes that ‘as we live in a world that is connected by the Internet, we must not overlook the need for every language to be represented in the Information Society and the new technologies.’

Second is the language museum that takes as its subject the minority language. Canada’s Highland Village Living History Museum aims ‘to be internationally acknowledged for advancing research, fostering appreciation, learning and sharing authentic Gaelic language and heritage’. Italy’s Museum of the Occitan Language aims to foster a language that is spoken in Spain, France and Italy, but that, in all three countries, is overshadowed by more dominant languages. Australia’s Yugambeh Museum aims to ‘collect and maintain items and intellectual property that are evidence of the language, history and culture of the traditional Aboriginals of the Yugambeh Region’.

Third is the language museum that takes as its subject the national language of the country in which it is located. Hungary has a Museum of the Hungarian Language, and Italy is planning a Museum of the Italian Language. An interesting case is provided by the Museum of the Portuguese Language. It is located in Sao Paolo and not in Lisbon, but its aim is to make Brazilians proud of their national language - Portuguese.

Fourth is the language museum that takes as its subject a world language. Claims are made for Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, and Russian to be counted as world languages, but presently, of these, English is the only one for which a museum is in planning. Treating English as a world language means that the focus should not be on any particular nation, that English should be presented as a language with more than one received standard form, and that it should be displayed as a language enriched by the diversity of its spoken forms and national expressions.

The fifteen language museums dealing with spoken language have some educational and economic factors in common, but there are also four different reasons for the four kinds of language museum. The language museums dedicated to the world’s languages have universalist aims; the language museums dedicated to minority languages have conservationist aims; the language museums dedicated to a national language have nationalist aims; the language museum dedicated to a single world language has collectivist aims. The first three aims are relatively straightforward. The universalists wish to promote human understanding. The conservationalists wish to preserve threatened languages. The nationalists aim to promote their own languages.

The aims of the English Project for the English Language are different. The project is not presenting the languages of the world; it is not presenting a minority language; it is not presenting a national language. It is presenting a single world language, a term that implies a language used in many countries and that is widely learned as a second or foreign language. The English language has, by some estimates, almost two billion speakers to be found on every continent. In addressing its world-wide distribution, a world-language museum has both a universalist aim and conservationist aim because a world-language comes in a bewildering variety of forms, many of which are threatened with extinction because they are spoken by small groups in isolated places. A world-language museum should not have nationalist aims.

The Norwegian survey of those fifteen language museums actual or in planning shows that all of them are expecting to attract visitors to a building, and none of them is planning to rely on a website alone. The best example of the emphasis on a building rather than a website is the world’s most successful language museum – the one in Sao Paolo. Opened in 2006, it has been receiving over 600,000 visitors a year. People are going to the museum to enjoy themselves in groups, particularly in family groups and school groups. People move about the galleries in parties, in pairs, and alone. Like any good museum, it is a day out for young and old, and it takes full advantage of its varied contents to make sure that all its visitors can have a good time at their own speed and in their own way.

The first reason, then, for having a language museum in a building, and not simply online, is the opportunity for shared communal and social experience. In fact, the very nature of language makes it appropriate for a language museum to allow people to come together to listen and to speak to each other. The second reason for having a language museum in a building arises from the interaction of visitors, technology and interpreters. It shows people who have never thought of language as something that might interests them that they have been missing something all their lives. A third reason for having a language museum in a building is not directly connected to educating or entertaining visitors although it affects both. It is connected to the way in which a language museum needs to operate, whether concrete or virtual. If the museum is to operate as an independent entity, commercial or charitable, it will need a headquarters. But if it were to operate as a website only and have no galleries, it is likely that it would need to have the same scale of back office. There is nothing special or unexpected in producing a language website; there is a real challenge in making a language museum work. The distinctiveness demanded by a physical building can be something used in turn to give the website distinction.

Ideally, English should be presented as a language with no particular focus on any particular nation and as a language enriched by the diversity of its spoken forms and national expressions. The geographical spread of English is huge, and it has a history of 1600 years. How to present such a wealth of material? Part of the answer to that question must lie in media technology.

Media Technology for the English Language Museum

The design of a new museum or exhibition is essentially a top-down process. First comes the big picture - the raison d'être of the project. This defines the scope, emphases, culture and flow.

Then comes the physical layout of the building and its internal concept and style. Architects will assign space to the functional areas: the reception, the individual galleries, the temporary exhibition space, the lecture room, the café, the gift shop and so on.

Next is the design and siting of the individual exhibits themselves. This task draws upon the disciplines of visual and behavioural psychology and has much in common with the interior design of supermarkets. These disciplines have been heavily researched over many decades. They employ metrics such as stopping power (the average number of visitors stopping at an exhibit), dwell-time (the average time visitors spend at an exhibit) and communication power (the effectiveness of an exhibit in delivering information to the visitors). Behavioural scientists have more recently employed similar methodologies to measure the influence of new technologies on visitor behaviour. It is still not widely established, however, how quantitative measures which record increased involvement with the exhibits, contribute to an understanding of the overall quality of the museum experience as it is perceived by the visitors [2]. They will inform the way in which exhibits will be placed and changed over time.

The Pros and Cons of Media Technologies

If we wish to jump into a new generation of museums we must explore the level above the individual exhibit design and have regard to the media through which we shall tell our stories, give our explanations, allow more in-depth exploration and, hopefully, educate and enthral our visitors too. The idea is that the media and content (audio-visual productions as well as tangible exhibits) work together to provide an overall impression or ‘experience’ which will hopefully endure in the memories of our museum-goers.

These communicative media can be as simple as a printed display card or as complex as a 3-D, immersive, panoramic screen, depending upon the appropriateness for the exhibit, the space available, the budget and the number of visitors who must be accommodated simultaneously. In the interest of enhancing the learning experience and making museums more appealing, the current trend is to employ electronic media which feature either interactivity, immersivity or mobility (or some combination of these).

There are many reasons why we should be keen to embrace the latest media technology in our museum:

 (i)     English is a spoken and written medium and is, therefore, ideally suited to audio-visual display and manipulation. In his 2008 paper [3], David Crystal is enthusiastic about the potential of ‘computers’ in a language museum. He notes that ‘all kinds of interactive possibilities suggest themselves allowing auditory, animated and tactile perspectives which a static visual medium could not possibly achieve’. Of course, audio-visual technologies in some form will actually be essential tools for us, just as they are for any museum. A new museum, however, does not have the millstone of out-dated capital equipment and has a unique opportunity to embrace the latest approaches in communication media.

(ii)     We are unlikely to have a large range of physical exhibits which we can display in the manner of a traditional museum. A small variety of borrowed and changing ‘treasure’ exhibits will be essential to encourage return visits and to meet the expectations of those who have a conventional idea of what a ‘museum’ should contain.

(iii)    Different people will have different background interests and will have different reasons for visiting the museum. The use of electronic media could allow us to satisfy different interests simultaneously and thereby allow each visitor to create their own individual experience. This will involve more than simply skipping exhibits which are of no personal interest, as in a traditional museum, but will be done by building increased flexibility and depth into interactive exhibits so that each user can explore their own specific angle on each exhibit.

(iv)    The participative and exploratory nature of interactive exhibits can, and must be, used to create a culture of fun and adventure where visitors enjoy themselves and are seen by others to be enjoying themselves. Traditional museums and art galleries are too quiet and stuffy. We will aim to be more like a toy shop than a dentist’s waiting room.

(v)     Younger visitors will expect a museum to have exciting elements of media technology and will quickly tire of one that doesn’t. They may well have short attention spans too and the ability to switch quickly between types of exhibit (for example to take on something creative or participative rather than passive) will be an advantage.

(vi)    The most active museums rely heavily on their websites for: publicity, previews, bookings for special events, news & press releases, downloads & podcasts, forums, and e-commerce. Having material available in electronic form will make it easier to select and incorporate ‘tasters’ and demonstrations of exhibits. Of course, the established English Project website and associated events such as our annual English Language Day, will give our museum a head start and have enabled us to gain some experience of what works well.

(vii)   The wearing of wireless headphones by every visitor would be fundamental to ensuring that so many different audio streams can be in simultaneous use. An increasing number of visitors will be using smart phones and mp3 audio players. These offer opportunities for deepening the museum experience by way of a wide range of additional audio and video materials tailored to every level of visitor expectation. Beyond the walls of the museum, a smart-phone GPS-assisted walking tour ofWinchesterwill engage visitors with the story of English in the city. In the two hundred years following the reign of King Alfred, ‘the political dominance ofWessex,’ says David Crystal, ‘centred onWinchester, and the vast majority of the literary canon of Old English is written in the West Saxon dialect.’ [4]

The concerns we will need to address include:

(i)      The high cost of producing quality media, especially where interactive options multiply their number. For gathering content which reflects the geographical spread of English, good use will be needed of our global networks.

(ii)     The most impressive and exciting media technologies will not simply come off-the-shelf and just require programming. They will have to be cleverly and creatively designed and/or adapted to be appealing and effective at conveying their specific information. We have all witnessed the ‘kiosks’; early museum attempts at IT. They failed partly because they looked intimidating and partly because they implied a ‘tutorial’ nature. People didn’t want to be taught; they wanted to be entertained.

(iii)    The media technologies employed will need to be accessible and intuitively operable by visitors having vastly varying ages and levels of IT awareness. This should not be difficult to achieve, however. No exhibits will have keyboards, most will use simple on-screen press-button interaction and immersive audio-visual experiences can be appreciated through the visitor’s senses with no action being necessary. We can safely assume that those visitors who wish to explore the deepest levels of an etymological database, for example, already have the required level of IT literacy.

(iv)    The museum’s media technology and database resources must remain significantly more impressive and richer than are available through the internet, if media technology is to continue to be a factor in attracting and entertaining visitors. In a permanent installation with a reasonable investment in media technology it should not be difficult for the museum to remain well ahead of what can be accommodated in the home. This is something of an arms race, however, and it should remind us of the continual need to plan for re-investment in even new technology every few years. It is not hard to find stories of museums which contain out-dated and often broken technological exhibits because the have not budgeted for up-grades.


It was in the 1960s that audio, in the form of taped audio guides, first became commonplace at museums and exhibitions. Visitors wore headphones and had to carry a relatively large tape player with them. They were constrained to follow a pre-defined path around the exhibits, as they listened to the fixed series of explanations stored on the tape. Apart from a level control and pause button, there was no interaction between the user and the device.

Later, in the 1980s, random access digital technology made the storage device smaller and it became possible to listen to any chosen explanation, typically by keying in an exhibit number or swiping a barcode. The earliest such guides used CD players, today they employ memory chips, but still operate widely on the same principle. The smaller size has made it possible to include the storage devi

Two people listen to hand-held audio guidesce, keypad and loudspeaker in a self-contained handset and these remain popular.

The ideal, and an approach made feasible with modern wifi technology, is that visitors are addressed by their own personal audio service. For many exhibits this will just ensure that the required commentary begins (or more precisely, it gently fades in) as the person approaches an exhibit but for more sophisticated interactive experiences individual content can be conveyed in response to the visitor’s behaviour. An example of a system which embodies this is Sennheiser’s new guidePORT product [5]. It can handle up to 1,800 individual audio streams and reproduce every one with impressive 16-bit precision. The company’s publicity shows it in use at a musical instrument museum in Old Lyme Connecticut where the system’s ability to reproduce high quality music is very much an advantage. The museum has an area of 75,000 square feet and contains 3,000 display objects drawn from its collection of 10,000 instruments and artefacts.

With individually addressable audio very many options become possible. At the simplest level it allows everyone to have access to information about any exhibit the moment they want it. Individual audio would mean that, although common touch screens would be used for selection, as many people who wish can listen to their own choices simultaneously. These individual audio channels can be personalised too. Spoken background information on exhibits, for example, could be reproduced at a higher speed for those who are impatient or slowed for those who absorb information more slowly.  Special exhibit descriptions could be automatically delivered to children, or people with visually impairment or learning difficulties [6]. And, of course, background information about exhibits could be made available in different languages.

Individual interactivity is perhaps the biggest bonus. Imagine, for example, a map (or globe) of the world showing the diversity of regions where English is spoken in different dialects, creoles, pidgins and accents. Simply touching the display will produce in your ears spoken examples of these from the region you have chosen. The same exhibit may be in simultaneous use by tens of people, each of whom may be exploring a different English. Through a variety of different interactive control options (e.g. speech or touch screen), the visitor could be offered the opportunity to find out more about the history and development of English in their chosen region. The audio could be more than just speech, of course, many production methods exist to paint 3D soundscapes [7] which would add to the experience. We might perhaps hear a street trader in 1940s Calcutta describing aspects of his life while all around us we feel the audible presence of the busy thoroughfare.

Of course, this form of technology not only allows visitors to follow their own interests throughout the museum but it allows the museum’s computer systems to track them (both physically, at different exhibits and through their interactive behaviour at each exhibit). If visitors so wish, the system could make recommendations of exhibits they might like to see based upon the behaviour of similar visitors. The statistics on visitor behaviour would provide helpful feedback to the museum too, showing which exhibits are the most successful and providing guidance on how visitor interactivity might be improved at others. Tracking also provides commercial opportunities. Based upon a visitor’s interests and behaviour, he or she might be recommended particular books or other items to be purchased from the gift shop.

Several researchers have explored the potential of particular narrative trails through museums to enhance learning. With tracking technology, these can be realised. Some of the most sophisticated technological research into museum or city audio guides involves commentaries which are composed automatically and in real time. One city guide called WikEar mines information in real time from Wikipedia, organises it according to narrative theory and weaves it into an educational audio tour using a city map. Its main advantages are its encyclopaedic depth and the fact that it is always up to-date. Another real-time guide creates a commentary from an available museum database but takes account of the characteristics of the visitor and the exhibits which he or she has already chosen to see, to produce a guide which is specifically targeted at the individual [8]. These latter technologies are an indication of what technology will soon be able to do though they are unlikely to produce polished and entertaining descriptions within our timescale.

Visual Displays

Over the past decade display technologies have undergone a revolution. Highlights of this include: large and high definition (HD) flat screen LCDs, bright plasma devices, digital light projectors (DLP), very large JumboTron™ type displays for stadiums and city centres, a host of stereoscopic (3D) technologies and curved panoramic immersive displays. Of course, the major advance of precision touch-screen technology should also be listed here. It has replaced the clumsy mouse and mechanical keyboard and has allowed the display to stand completely alone as a human-machine interface. This single advancement has brought us tablets and smart phones and has redefined personal computing; it will form a fundamental part of the majority of museum displays too.

The use of different displays in different museum applications is very much ‘horses for courses’. We might imagine the story of the history of the English language (say to 1600) being told on an immersive 3-panel HD panorama. With a combination of realistic graphics and dramatisation, we could fly through time and space to meet some of the north European tribes whose languages have contributed to early English. The display would give, for an audience of a few tens of people, a genuine feeling of flying and ‘being there’, in the same way that I-MAX achieves this in a larger scale auditorium. We could even achieve an immersive sense that we are actually present with the people we are meeting. Adding stereoscopic or ‘3D’ production and display would enhance the effect of presence.

Production costs for such documentary material will be high but primarily because of the travel, sets, actors and costumes involved. The technology employed is no longer experimental, expensive or exceptional. HD and stereoscopic 3D are now part of the normal television production chain and are well understood.

Schools and colleges today all employ touch-screen interactive projection displays – these would also be affordable for other interactive word puzzles and games and could be very entertaining.

While maps, posters and diagrams can be reproduced and displayed as static prints, access to classic books from the history of the English language will be important both for the casual browsing visitor and the more serious student. The British Library keeps precision-scanned versions of all its most important works and many electronic versions are on display in the Library. The touch-screen browser that they use, provided through Microsoft ‘Silverlight’, allows pages to be turned by a stroke of the finger and the system responds by creating a realistic-looking virtual page turn. It will also rotate the book to view illustrations printed horizontally and zoom using a virtual magnifying glass. Audio is also included as is the option to view a transcript of the page in view.

The British Library now makes available internet access to some books through its ‘Turning the Pages’ initiative. Books may be viewed using a free Shockwave viewer which provides almost the same features as the Silverlight browser. Currently the number of books available on-line is very limited; no doubt the BL is concerned about copyright which cannot realistically be controlled once on-line. We aim to work closely with the British Library, which is our national repository of significant texts. Books in this form are far easier to examine than when the originals are exhibited in glass cabinets. The low light levels necessary to protect the texts from damage and the fact that they can only be open at one page made them extremely difficult to see.

Hand-held Devices

Visual displays are always at a premium in museums. Many trials have explored the potential of hiring out hand-held wireless displays to visitors but the evidence is, that inside museums already full of visual exhibits, they are not always helpful and do not make good business sense. For the increasing number of visitors who bring their own displays, such as a smart phone, however, there is a real opportunity for the Museum to supplement purely auditory exhibits.  For example, providing the ability to watch and not merely hear, Martin Luther King or Churchill delivering their speeches, would be a real bonus.

For outside venues, and for extending the museum to encompass local sight seeing, the mobility of wireless displays comes into its own.  Many outside event venues are recognising the potential of hand-held video displays, particularly for allowing visitors to see things which would normally be out of sight. One business model operated by Kangaroo television, for example, operates a successful wireless display hire at Formula 1 venues, where spectators can view cars in the pits or on the far side of the track and where race statistics and driver profiles are instantly available.

The Questions About the English Language Museum

Where should the museum be located? Such a museum could be built in any of the seventy countries in the world that has a large community that uses English as its first language. But, except on the net, the Museum cannot be everywhere so it must be somewhere. The place that the English Project has chosen is Winchesterin Hampshire in England. Winchesterhas as a significant role in the evolution of the English Language from the time of King Alfred, when the city was the capital of the Kingdomof Wessex, through Jane Austen, who lived in Hampshire and is buried in Winchester Cathedral, and into the future when it will host the ideal EnglishLanguageMuseum. Such a museum should have, as part of its exhibitions, a permanent space devoted to the local place. In Winchester, then, there will be copies of Pope Gregory the Great’s Pastoral Care, in Latin and Old English. Both books will also be displayed in touch-screen browsers. As we turn the pages, we will hear the words spoken in Latin and in Old English. We will hear the sound of the pages turning and the sound of the goose quills on the parchment. We will if we wish be taken into the Winchester Scriptorium to see and hear the monks translating at King Alfred’s command. Full explanations will be available for any of us wanting to know what was involved in the great business of translating the Alfred texts. We will take away the excitement that the dedicated scholar feels in the presence of those great texts. In the ideal museum, we will be able to see for ourselves West Saxon, the English of Winchester, became the first Standard English.

How did theEnglish Language become a Global Language? The ideal museum would allow visitors to move directly to the global story of present-day English or to go by way of history and geography from the Old English of Winchester to modern Englishes as they now sound inLondon,Edinburgh,Dublin,Boston,Philadelphia,Savannah,San Francisco,Delhi,Karachi,Sydney,Wellington,Nairobi,Cape Town,Lagos,Bridgetown,Kingston,Port of Spain. (We name a few, but the ideal museum would aim to satisfy the curiosity of the world’s speakers of English from wherever they come.) In the ideal museum, we would enter a space in which there were interactive globes and maps with which to explore the spread of the English language in the seventy countries where it has a community of native speakers We would be able to hear the present-day varieties of English and be able to find out how and when English got there and how it has developed since.

What is the Story of the English Language as the World’s Lingua Franca? The ideal Museum of the English Language would show that a regularized or standard form of the English language exists simultaneously with the multiplicity of Englishes that can be heard around the world. Periodically, English users standardize the language so that it can be understood by English speakers whatever their local variety. Here the Museum would take up the relationship between the spoken and the written language, subtle, complex and changing over time. Standardization took place in Old English in ninth century; it took place again in Modern English in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries; it may be taking place again under the impact of the internet and globalization. Visitors would see how punctuation, spelling, and grammar steadily change, are periodically given a fixed written form that gradually falls behind the continually changing spoken language. Stability and fluidity: creative tensions would be brought to light; correctnesses could be seen to become incorrectnesses.

What are the Games that can be Played with the English language? An ideal museum would contain a giant playroom with fully interactive language games beginning with flyting bouts in which sixth-century warriors exchanged insults before doing battle through to Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue in which twenty-first-century competitors provided new definitions for the Uxbridge Dictionary. In between, visitors would be able to try their hands and tongues at riddles, jokes, graffiti, dozens, repartee, puns, crosswords, acrostics, codes, hangman, word squares, anagrams, tongue twisters, palindromes, words-within-words, grids, nonsense verse, limericks, cursing, swearing, rhyming slang and back slang.

How would Visitors Contribute to anIdealEnglishLanguageMuseum? Everyone who visits an ideal English language museum should have the opportunity to donate their English to its collection in a formula such as this: ‘My name is Betty Huff. I was born inCleveland,Ohio, and I now live inColumbia,South Carolina. My voice is one in a billion, and I am happy to donate this sound bite to the English Project. I will now tell you about the street on which I live ……’ As the visitor leaves the gallery she would walk through a sound sculpture of thousands of donated voices.

What would be the Treasures of an IdealEnglishlanguageMuseum? 5. The treasures of the ideal EnglishLanguageMuseumshould be of two kinds: solid and sound. Solid treasures would include real or replica items that have been crucial in the development of the story of English: the Undley Bracteate (a fifth-century medallion with the first written English on it), an Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a Canterbury Tales manuscript, a Shakespeare first folio, a first-edition Johnson’s Dictionary, the first txt message. All of these would have fully interactive display formats to make their meanings and majesty evident to every visitor. At the same time, the idealEnglishlanguageMuseum would have a treasury of sound materials: the first recorded English voice, the first English radio announcement, the speeches of Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King.

Our aims are clear; our aspirations are ambitious; we have growing support from local and national funding agencies; we even have our eye on a specific location. We have the basis of a business plan, a management team, and a growing number of volunteer supporters. Our present activities are achieving public exposure of our plans, and we look forward to sharing news of the opening of this new museum to the world’s museum enthusiasts, in the expectation that they will beat a path toWinchester.


1. Grepstad, Ottar. ‘Museums of Language and Written Culture in the World’. Orsta: Nynorsk Kultursentrum, 2009.

2. Vom Lehn, D. & Heath. C. ‘Accounting for New Technology in Museum Exhibitions’, International Journal of Arts Management 7.6, 2005: 11-21.

3. Crystal, David. ‘A London Language Museum’, Museum 60, 3, 2008: 80-87.

4. Crystal, David. ‘The Stories of English’. Woodstock: Overlook Press, 2005: 82.

5. Embargo Zone. ‘The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) Chose Sennheiser’s Innovative Technology to Create Extraordinary Experiences for Music Lovers’, 21 July 2010.

6. O’Donnell, M. ‘Museum Audio Guides which Adapt to the User and Context’. 2001.

7. Eckel, G, 2003, ‘Immersive Audio-augmented Environments’, conclusions of the LISTEN project.

8. Schoning, J, Hecht, B, Rohs, M & Starosielski, N. ‘WikEar – Automatically Generated Location-based Audio Stories between Public City Maps’, Adjunct Proceedings of the 9th Int Conf on Ubiquitous Computing,  2007.


Published in: Museums of Ideas: Commitment and Conflict   ISBN: 978-1-907697-21-0 [paperback]  |  978-1-907697-22-7 [hardback]