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Graham Black

Graham Black


School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
History, Languages and Global Cultures


Responsibilities incorporate teaching, research and consultancy (in a private capacity). On the MA Museum and Heritage Management, Graham is responsible for the year-long module on Presentation Management, covering visitor studies, marketing and audience development, visitor services, learning and interpretation. He also supervises and marks MA theses and acts as Admissions Tutor for the course. His consultancy feeds through 'live' projects used in MA teaching. At undergraduate level, he contributes to core history modules at levels one and two.

Graham Black is currently exploring the issue of how best to evaluate history museums in the 21st century. This combines his commitments to visitor participation and inclusivity with his belief in the need for academic rigour.

Research areas

Graham is an active member of the History and Heritage Research Group, and a member of the Research Committee for the Group.

Areas of research interest include the following:

  • Practical application of interpretive principles to develop environments at museum and heritage sites that support participation and learning
  • A new research area looking at the making and presentation of history in museums

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil / PhD exist in the School of Arts and Humanities and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

  • Graham combines his career as a consultant Heritage Interpreter with academic work as a Reader in Public History and Heritage Management on the MA and CCSSC validated Museum and Heritage Management MA / PG Diploma course at Nottingham Trent University.
  • Exhibitions on which he has acted as Interpretive Consultant have won the first UK £100,000 Museum Prize (2003) and been on the final shortlist for the Prize (2007), as well as winning its predecessor the Gulbenkian Prize, a Museum of the Year Award, the Special Judges Prize at the Interpret Britain Awards and the English Tourist Board's 'England for Excellence' Tourist Attraction of the Year Award. Two of the museums reached the final shortlist for the European Museum of the Year Award.
  • Most of his projects since 1995 have incorporated HLF grant aid.
  • He is a Fellow of the Association for Heritage Interpretation (UK). His book, The Engaging Museum, published by Routledge in June 2005 is widely used by museum and heritage professionals, and by students.

Until 2009, Graham ran an active Heritage Interpretation consultancy. Clients included:

  • Cardiff City Museum: Development of Interpretive Masterplan
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Development of interpretation for 20 year plan, including Interpretive Brief for a History of Birmingham Gallery
  • Newarke Houses Museum, Leicester: Complete re-display: £1.5m spend
  • Leicestershire Museums Service: Service-wide Interpretation Strategy
  • Weston Park Museum, Sheffield: Workshops underpinning the interpretation for the total re-display of what were the old Sheffield City Gallery and Mappin Art Gallery. Total spend circa £19m
  • Tyntesfield: Production of Interpretive Masterplan for this flagship national Trust property


Developing Audiences for the Twenty-First Century Museum. Black G in C McCarthy (ed) The International Handbook of Museum Studies First Edition Vol IV, 2013, John Wiley and Sons (published online first: online ISBN: 9781118829059)

Transforming Museums in the Twenty-First Century. Black G, 2011, Routledge

Museums, Memory And History. Black G, Cultural and Social History, 2011, 8 (3), 415-427

Embedding Civil Engagement in Museums. Black G, Museum Management and Curatorship, 2010, 25 (2), 129

Museums And Civil Engagement. Anderson G (ed), Reinventing the Museum, 2011, 271-290

See all of Graham Black's publications...