Arran Rees

Arran Rees


I began my PhD in 2017, aiming to examine the implications of museums collecting born-digital objects from social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. My research is particularly interested the conceptual barriers to collecting digital culture and whether existing professional collections management frameworks can accommodate social media and born-digital objects. Through my research I intend to use case studies to identify shortfalls in museum processes and develop an effective model for acquiring social media objects in collaboration with the National Science and Media Museum. 

I have a BA in History from Swansea University and an MA Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. I spent the last 8 years working in the museum sector in a range of roles includuing the following:

  • Collections Information and Systems Manager at the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Collections Curator at the Cardiff Story Museum
  • Secretary and Trustee to the Welsh Museums Federation
  • Collections Manager at the Royal Mint Museum
  • Documentation Officer at Blaenau Gwent County Council

I am an active member of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage and have been collaborating with the Collecting Social Photography project, a three year Nordic research project exploring how museums and archives should adapt their work practices around photography collections in the era of social media. I am also a member of the ICOM UK Committee

Research interests

My research is focused on museum collecting, digital cultural heritage and collections management practices. I am interested in action research practices and bridging the gap between theoretical museological debates and contemporary museum practices in a broad spectrum of museum and heritage sites.

 Other interests include:

  • Digital collecting in heritage institutions
  • Contemporary collecting practices
  • Popular culture and digital culture
  • Cultural collections management policy and procedures
  • Operational practices and organisational structures
  • Ethical digital practices
  • Social media and the museum


  • MA Museum Studies
  • BA History

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage