David Hopes recently joined the Shakespeare Institute, beginning a three year research fellowship being run jointly with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT). The focus of David's research is digital access to literary collections: how artefacts can be used more effectively to engage audiences and promote learning. Practically speaking, David will be conducting an audit of digital access to the world's foremost Shakespeare collections, working with the SBT to create strategies which harness digital technologies and opportunities, and creating an app which will use virtual and augmented reality to bring to life the collections and properties owned by the Trust. A key part of David's role will be to create opportunities to encourage both the Shakespeare Institute and the SBT to work more closely together via 'digital bridges'.
Although he graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1994 with a degree in Chemistry, David then jumped ship to the arts and studied English Lit and History with the Open University while working in various parts of the British Isles. Towards the end of that degree, David spent several months volunteering with Tenby Museum and Art Gallery in South West Wales, an opportunity which convinced him that a career in museums might be worthwhile. A Masters in Museum Studies followed, and then 10 years working as a curator in a wide range of museums, and project managing new museum projects. Towards the end of this time David was Project Curator of the National Trust for Scotland's new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, built to house artefacts comparable to those found in the SBT collection. The literary link and the Burns museum’s experimental use of digital led to his interest in the fellowship with the Shakespeare Institute which he took up in January