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08 July 2020

Publishing in the Heritage Sector

22 September 2015


The Association for Cultural Enterprises (ACE) and Publishing Scotland are hosting a Study Day in Edinburgh for members. It's aimed at organisations with publishing arms including museums, galleries and libraries. The programme is set out below.

Topic:  Publishing in the Heritage Sector
Date:   Tuesday 22 September 2015
Venue: Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL

The event is free to ACE and PS members. Booking is now closed.

If you have any queries about your booking, please contact Joan Lyle at Publishing Scotland.



  • 09.30-10.00: Coffee, Networking and Registration
  • 10.00-10.05: Introduction by Chairs of Publishing Scotland and Association for Cultural Enterprises (ACE)
  • 10.05-10.45: Introductions by Organisations. Who they are and how their publishing arm works.
  • 10.45-11.30: From Archaeology and Architecture to Alexander McCall Smith: a journey through publishing Scotland's history and heritage - James Crawford, RCAHMS, Publishing Operational Manager. A look at the challenges of changing the culture within an organisation to embrace publishing for both specialist and general audiences - from distribution, sales and marketing to editorial and list-building. For extra spice add in a merger and a runaway (and very quickly run-out) bestseller from a world famous author.
  • 11.30-11.45:  BREAK
  • 11.45-12.30:  Museums And Galleries Publishing: what I have learnt thus far - Nicola Saunders, National Portrait Gallery, Head of Business Development, Trading. Nicola will talk briefly about her 17 years in children's publishing, give an overview of the NPG publishing programme, give her personal view of what it is to work in the commercial arm of a not-for-profit organisation and discuss some specific NPG publishing projects.
  • 12.30-13.30:  Lunch
  • 13.30-14.15:  From Sex to Death: my year in books - Melanie Stacey, Commercial Development Manager, Wellcome Collection. The simultaneous opening of two very different exhibitions posed several very different publishing challenges, resulting in a multi-tier approach to catalogues and accompanying publications. Melanie will discuss what worked and why, and what Wellcome might do differently next time, setting against the wider context of heritage sector publishing.
  • 14.15-15.00:  Round up and plan for next event

Download the programme as a PDF



ACE PS event speakers September 2015

Our speakers: James Crawford, Nicola Saunders and Melanie Stacey

James Crawford

James Crawford is the Publishing Operational Manager for RCAHMS - which is set to merge with Historic Scotland to become Historic Environment Scotland (HES) in October 2015. After starting his career as a radio broadcast journalist, between 2002 and 2008 he worked in London as a literary agent. In December 2014 he was elected as a Trustee to the Board of Publishing Scotland.

Nicola Saunders

I joined the Gallery in November 2012 in the newly created role of Head of Business Development. I manage the Publications and Rights & Images teams. On the Publications side I am involved in planning and shaping our publication programme. I commission authors and contributors, sell foreign-language rights in our publications and manage our sales and marketing functions. On the Rights & Images side, I work with the team on all things related to intellectual property (IP),with a specific responsibility for developing our merchandise licensing. My role is very varied with no 2 days being the same!

My previous career saw me briefly dabble in bookselling and academic publishing before spending 17 years working in rights and licensing in the children's division at Penguin Books. I had the privilege of working on some of the most iconic children's brands such as Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Flower Fairies, Ladybird and Peppa Pig. I sold all kinds of rights, including foreign-language, theatrical, film and TV, and merchandise. Having spent most of my career concentrating on children's brands, I am now very happy to be devoting my time to the wonderful portraits in the Gallery's Collection.

Melanie Stacey

I joined Wellcome Collection in November 2013, taking on the newly-created role of Commercial Development Manager to help to lead the venue through a period of significant redevelopment and change: my first task was to devise and implement a three-year commercial strategy and business plan to increase income from all trading activities across the business 2014/17.

My remit includes development of Wellcome Collection's conference centre, retail, merchandise and catering trading activities. As part of this, I also have oversight of the publishing activities, supporting the Commissioning Editor to deliver both the publishing programme and the annual Wellcome Book Prize.
Wellcome Collection is part of the Wellcome Trust, the 3rd largest global charity - however the methods and challenges in delivering successful a publication programme are broadly similar to my previous experiences at Whitechapel Gallery, where I was Commercial Manager (2012 to 2013)  - and which was most definitely not a large global charity.

For both roles, I have drawn heavily on my 20 years' experience of working in publishing; primarily at Thames & Hudson, one of the leading visual arts publishers which also acts as a distributor for a diverse portfolio of museum & gallery publishing clients. As UK Trade Sales Manager, I was responsible for selling into both trade and heritage sector accounts throughout the UK…so I was seeing the sector from a different side of the fence.

My passion remains art and galleries, and I am - tragically - often to be found tidying random gallery and museums shops on holiday.