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Understanding the uses and impacts of iconic cultural images in the digital world

October 3, 2018
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London

FWB 2.81, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford St
London SE1 9NH
United Kingdom

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Topic areas

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  • What makes a cultural image memorable?
  • Can memorability be transferred into the digital sphere?
  • Do iconic images function in the same way online as they do offline?

Through this collaborative event, we aim to explore why certain historical and cultural images are remembered and considered to be iconic. We also wish to understand how public engagement with these images changes once they are shared online. Through discussion of the various uses and impacts of cultural images online, we hope to understand better the relationships between images, memory and the digital.

The central purpose of this event is to create a collaborative space for academics and practitioners from cultural institutions to share knowledge and experience of the uses and impacts of historical and cultural images online. The event will host discussion between those from academic and cultural institutions, encourage collaboration and gather suggestions for future areas of research.

Themes and presentation topics

Understanding cultural images: memory, fame and the iconic

  • Meanings in images
  • Cultural memory of images
  • Iconic images

Viewing cultural images: audiences, users and visitors

  • Insights into visitors’ and web users’ engagement with museum/archive images
  • Research into the effect of the internet on people’s engagement with cultural/historical images
  • Labelling and interpretation of images in museums and galleries

Managing and studying cultural images: new methods, systems and techniques

  • Development of new digital image management or dissemination systems
  • Development of cultural institution/archive public websites
  • New digital methods to help track uses of cultural images online
  • Open access and metadata

Using cultural images: sales, promotion and education

  • Insights into sales of cultural images online
  • Insights into digitization, preservation and promotion of museum/archive images
  • Uses and impacts of cultural images on social media
  • Images use in education programmes
  • Image use inside the museum and outside the museum

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers from anyone with academic or professional interests and experience in the above topics. Please email proposals of no more than 250 words, along with a 150-word biography, by 31 August 2018 to Katherine Howells at

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September 28, 2018, 6:00pm BST

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