Creative Experiments / working with students

Creative Experiments / working with students

Artistic Exhibitions and Interactive Installations
inspired by
Alba Amicorum and digital collections


Start: Basics

Alba Amicorum

  • A goal:
    Inspire creatives to use our collections
  • Funding
  • Network/partners:
    We collaborated with the Royal Academy of Art

Interactive Installations

  • A goal:
    Reach out with our digital collections
  • Funding
  • Network/partners:
    We collaborated with Technical University of Delft
Collaboration arrangements

Art Academy


  • Coördinator
    (type: programming/ events/ maker)
  • Collections specialist (alba amicorum)
  • Mediator from the art academy
  • 5 teachers
  • 3 courses (sequentially)
  • ± 15 students per course


  • Keep in mind the schedule of the curriculum of the courses you want to work with;
  • Brainstorm with the teachers about your goals and their assignment. Clearly state the division of roles. Design a briefing for the students;
  • Decide on the schedule, mid-term presentations, final presentations. Decide on the amount of contact moments with the students and teachers.

Technical University


  • Coördinator
    (type: information specialist)
  • Lecturer of the course
  • 4 assisting lecturers
  • 1 minor program
  • 35 students


  • We needed a few months to plan everything with colleagues and the academies;
  • Be flexible but keep your project planned results in mind;
  • We wanted presentations at our own location as well. This helped with promotion within the organisation!
  • For example meet once every two weeks. And agree with teachers on how to interact and give feedback to the students (can this be directly or does the teacher has to be a part of it?).


  • Who is doing the internal communication? Make sure you have someone on board;
  • Manage the expectations of your colleagues (time management wise);
  • After the kick-off have a drink together! (take this into account in your budget planning);
  • Include facility management and security in your project when doing exhibitions and installations;
  • Find guest lecturers in your network to present at the kick-off, to inspire students with multiple views on the subject.


Laying the ground work inside your organisation

Make a stakeholder mindmap for your organisation. Who do you need and for what? Create a mailing list of people who are interested in the process and results, by announcing your project through internal communication and your project website.
Agree on the content with the specialists in your organisation, create datasets within the collections you have chosen for the project. Don’t expect students to find the time to search through the collections themselves.

Organize a fun kick-off at your location, introducing your organization, a tour, meet specialists and give them an instruction on how to use your collection (and website/catalogue etc.)
If you have a makerspace or a fun public space with all the necessary facilities, make sure you are allowed to use it.


Let’s go and have fun!

Right now the ground work has been laid down and it’s up to the teachers and students to start working on their assignments. As mentioned you check in regularly and give feedback and make adjustments within the framework if necessary to proceed. Keep managing expectations from both sides (time investment, outcome)!

Document the process, for example through videos, posters, blogs, infographics and let the students help you.

Get access to the academies communication tool (blackboard, notion, teams etc.) to collaborate (read, write, comment).


  • Make sure you and your colleagues have cleared your scheduled for all presentations and meet ups;
  • Teambuilding with the students through presentations, workshops, lunch together, or schedule drinks after a session;
  • Find someone (the students, colleagues, hiring) to shoot photo’s or make a video (take this into account in your budget);
  • Repeat the goal on a regularly basis to the students and teachers and yourself, so the connection will be ensured for your collaboration and the final result!


  • Let the students with the idea that amazes you the most (or suits the vision and goals of the organisation the best), pitch their idea to a group of board members/ specialists and other people who can bring the idea further in your institute.


Working towards the final phase

During the project you’ll see results that could be interesting for further exploration and collaboration. Agree with the teachers and students on how to proceed after the project finishes. Do you want to keep some of the installations or exhibition material?
Have a script/planning, ready for the final presentation (time schedule, facility management, communication strategy, IT).


  • Which target group do you want to address with the final presentation? If also colleagues in your network or general public, this must be taken into account in the communication strategy;
  • Contacting students after the course doesn’t always work, some have graduated or busy with a next assignment. Get everything you need from them, before the end of the course;
  • Don’t forget to invite the board members to presentations and pitches!
  • Sometimes sponsors/funds have specific demands on evaluation descriptions, make sure you gather all necessary information;
  • Draw up a letter of intent for further collaboration between your organizations.


Finishing and evaluating

The students are now finished and the course ends. Make sure you gather everything you need from them before the end. This means their evaluation on the collaboration and assignment as well!

Arrange awareness in your organization about the results and outcomes by creating a very cool and fun final presentation at your location for all colleagues (if possible). Show the impact of this project on your organization.

Evaluation with teachers using the set goals in the project plan. Want to collaborate more often together in the future? Put it in writing and make plans.
Enjoy the results and outcomes of the project.

Jessica Wevers
Project Coordinator
Rianne Koning
Project Coordinator
Jeroen Vandommele
Curator Post-medieval and Modern Manuscripts
Martijn Kleppe
Steering Group Chairman
& Project Client
Ron Hol
Project Manager

Open Digital Libraries for creative users 2020 – 2023