Curators from teenagers to retired people have created their own 'virtual gallery' space at a West Midlands art gallery and museum's website.

Over the last year, The Herbert in Coventry has worked with HeadRed to enable 50 people to use items from its collections as well as their own objects to set up their individual virtual galleries.

Young people from Hillfields, older people contacted through Age Concern and adults from the Grapevine Drop In Centre in Spon End, Coventry, were able to handle collections and also took part in ICT workshops at The Herbert in Jordan Well in the city centre.

HeadRed then designed and produced a practical and easy-to-use guide for the users to set up their own virtual galleries.

Paul Taylor, senior ICT officer (collections), said: "I think people really like to see parts of the collection which are not on display as well as have a chance to handle them which isn't an everyday opportunity.

"The older people found it useful to have a practical project to use their IT skills instead of doing a course just for its own sake because they could see the fruits of it. The quality of the virtual galleries is excellent and the feedback we've had is that everybody really enjoyed the project.

"We are planning further workshops this year to keep the project growing because everybody can recognise that the website is a resource to be used and it is available on-line for people to update their galleries."

Adrian Bevan, business development manager at HeadRed at the Cobalt Centre at Middlemarch, said it had been important to make sure a variety of different audience groups could use the site.

"The design is clean, fresh and uncluttered to provide as much emphasis as possible on the content itself, without needless distractions.

"We've included a very simple, colour coded navigation for users to browse the site and have ensured the gallery creation process is as streamlined and intuitive as possible," he added.

"We wanted the site to not just look great, but at the same time provide a first class user experience.

"We're confident that following its recent launch, it will set a new benchmark for arts and culture websites across the nation."

Check out the virtual galleries at