Exploring digital and hybrid engagement strategies in the GLAMA sector

Over the last three years, a number of factors – including sustainability and accessibility concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic – have driven an increased demand for remote and hybrid academic engagement in cultural heritage. Despite this, there has been no rigorous research into remote and hybrid engagement strategies within the GLAMA sector (galleries, libraries, archives, museums, and academia), and there is no accepted best practice for engaging audiences across these spaces.

Between September 2022 and March 2023, the Academic Engagement team at The National Archives and freelance researcher Alexandra Leigh undertook a targeted study of practice in the GLAMA sector. We are now pleased to share the final report: ‘Build it and they probably won’t come: Exploring remote and hybrid engagement strategies in the GLAMA sector’.

The report seeks to reflect the current state of remote and hybrid academic engagement activities in the GLAMA sector, following the shift to online delivery after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It captures the experiences of those involved in designing and co-ordinating remote and hybrid events and activities, with insights gathered through semi-structured interviews and two online workshops.

The findings of this report capture the experiences of a range of organisations, of differing sizes and with access to different resources. As such, it does not attempt to provide recommendations for ‘best practice’ as what may work for one organisation may be neither achievable nor applicable to another. Instead, it presents key findings related to the current state of remote and hybrid academic engagement activity in the sector, as well as the reflections provided both by participants and the project team who have produced this report.

Read the full report here.

Thank you to all participating organisations and volunteers in the study.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact research@nationalarchives.gov.uk.