Dr Oonagh Murphy

Staff details

Dr Oonagh Murphy


Senior Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society


Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship


o.murphy (@gold.ac.uk)

Oonagh’s research has explored best practice on the scalability of emerging technologies for cultural organisations

Dr Oonagh Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is based within the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, where her research focuses on the scalability or emerging technologies for museums, galleries and cultural organisations.

She is a member of the College of Experts at DCMS, and supports the development of evidence based policy making that shapes policy and practice across the broad digital, media, culture and sport portfolio. She is an Open Data Institute accredited Data Ethics Facilitator and Data Ethics Professional. A Member of the International Council of Museums, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Churchill Fellow.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Museum Studies, University of Ulster 2014
  • Masters of Research, University of Ulster 2010
  • BA (Hons) Arts Management, De Montfort University 2008

Teaching and supervision

Dr Murphy teaches modules on: The Audience in Theory and Practice, Digital Cultures, Arts Fundraising, Dissertation. She currently supervises three PhD students who are focusing on UX, fundraising and digital heritage.

She has been visiting lecturer and visiting fellow at a wide range of institutions and has served as EE at Manchester School of Art, DMU, Cardiff University.

Research interests

Digital culture, Innovation practices, Museum studies, Critical heritage studies, Audience development, Fundraising and development, Art market, Artificial Intelligence.

Major research projects include being the PI of the Museums + AI Network, an AHRC funded project that has brought over 50 digital leaders together from the UK and US to explore models of ethical AI practice within the cultural sector; and institutional Co-I on UnCharted, a European Union funded multi partner project examining the societal value of culture.

Alongside writing for The Guardian, Arts Professional, The Irish Times and Museum Practice she has been an invited speaker at museum, innovation, digital and creative industries conferences in Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland, Latvia, Romania, England, USA.

Grants and awards

2019: The Museums + AI Network
AHRC Research Networking Grant: UK-US Collaboration for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions

2020: Uncharted, Capturing and Fostering the Societal Value of Culture
EU Horizon 2020

Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Murphy, Oonagh. 2024. The Digital Transformation of Cultural Practice. In: Christos Carras, ed. The Handbook of Cultural Work. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, pp. 273-282. ISBN 9781350359468

Murphy, Oonagh. 2023. Power, Data and Control: AI in The Museums. In: Sonja Thiel and Johannes C. Bernhardt, eds. AI in Museums: Reflections, Perspectives and Applications. Bielefeld, Germany: transcript Verlag, pp. 73-82. ISBN 9783837667103

Murphy, Oonagh and Villaespesa, Elena. 2021. Innovation, data and social responsibility. In: Haitham Eid and Melissa Forstrom, eds. Museum Innovation: Building More Equitable, Relevant and Impactful Museums. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780367481407


Villaespesa, Elena and Murphy, Oonagh. 2021. This is not an apple! Benefits and challenges of applying computer vision to museum collections. Museum Management and Curatorship, 36(4), pp. 362-383. ISSN 0964-7775

Murphy, Oonagh. 2020. CultureLab – Don’t Believe the Stereotype, Ulster Museum, Belfast. Museums Journal, pp. 40-43. ISSN 0027-416X

Murphy, Oonagh and Aguiar, Laura. 2019. When a 1981 Diary Meets Twitter: Reclaiming a teenage girl’s ordinary experience of the Northern Irish Troubles. British Journal for Military History, 5(1), pp. 49-70. ISSN 2057-0422

Professional Activity

Musgrave, George; Dinardi, Cecilia; Franklin, Michael; Murphy, Oonagh and Prime, Sian. 2022. Submission of evidence to the UK Parliament House of Lords ‘A Creative Future’ Inquiry.


Murphy, Oonagh; Villaespesa, Elena; Gaia, Giuliano and Boiano, Stefania. 2024. Musei E Intelligenza Artificiale: Un Toolkit di Progettazione. Discussion Paper. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Murphy, Oonagh; Villaespesa, Elena; Bernhardt, Johannes; Golgath, Tabea and Sonja, Thiel. 2022. Künstliche Intelligenz und Museen – Ein Toolkit. Discussion Paper. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Murphy, Oonagh and Villaespesa, Elena. 2022. La Red de Museos + Inteligencia Artificial: Guía para la aplicación de IA en museos. Discussion Paper. Goldsmiths, University of London, London.

Professional projects

My research interests sit in the place between academia and practice with a particular focus on digital, AI and data led practices

From delivering leadership workshops and program evaluation for the British Council in Turkey and Uzbekistan, to developing a Crowdfunding mentoring programme for Arts and Business NI, or supporting The Science Museum to develop their use of Artificial Intelligence technologies, my work seeks to drive change, reach and impact.

I work with a wide range of clients on both a short term and ongoing basis in an arts management and consultancy capacity including: International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, The London Irish Centre, Barbican Centre, Arts & Business NI, Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, National Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Badisches Landesmuseum, British Council.