Content Data Object

Articulating and enabling meaningful access to digital artworks

About the Project

This project aims to articulate ways in which museum practice and international cultural property law could adapt to accommodate and enable meaningful access to conceptual, ephemeral and immaterial digital artworks.


The V&A collects digital works in a wider variety of forms than any other cultural institution in the UK. Such collections and the challenge they present have been the subject of debate internationally, though solutions for cataloging and preserving them are still somewhat experimental. Looking closely at the production and reception of such works, this project aims to find descriptive forms appropriate to collections management for the multiple dimensions, including time and experience, that they encompass.


This project seeks to; explore the scope of intellectual property inherent in the description and cataloging of conceptual digital works; problematise the distinction between tangible and intangible heritage and explore how artistic intention and audience experience are incorporated into collections management terms.


A series of expert workshops involving museum practitioners, information technologists, artists, digital media theorists, collection managers, conservators and curators will discuss concepts around digital collections to inform policies and protocols which adequately encompass digital collections, overcoming some knotty problems of access, interpretation and even definition.

Project updates

27 October 2021

Open-source speculum research

Introductory film and contents for the open-source speculum research project
27 October 2021

The open-source speculum research project

An introduction to the open-source speculum research project
19 December 2019

Weapons and gynaecology: making as need and desire

This post is part of a strand of research on the project Content/Data/Object. The project explores how museum practices can broaden access to digital works, so that their digital design processes can be enjoyed well...

The Team

Corinna Gardner

Senior Curator of Design and Digital, V&A

Curational Co-Investigator

Natalie Kane

Curator of Digital Design, V&A

Curational Co-Investigator

Early Career Researchers

Juhee Park
- Data Research Fellow
Anouska Samms
- Community Research Fellow
Header image: ‘csq3604’, digital inkjet print on Somerset rag paper, Mark Wilson, 2008, US. Museum no. E.411-2010. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London