The Brontë Parsonage Museum

The Bronte Parsonage Museum

Russell Telecom future-proofs landmark museum


The Brontë Parsonage Museum is maintained by the Brontë Society in honour of the famed Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë – in their old home located in Haworth, West Yorkshire. It is popular – attracting around 75,000 visitors a year – with those seeking to find the source of the sisters’ inspiration, and is of particular interest as the Brontës spent most of their lives here and wrote their famous novels in these surroundings.

The Brontë Society is open to everyone to join. It is one of the oldest literary societies in the English-speaking world, and is also a registered charity. The Society welcomes new members to support the preservation of the museum and library collections for future generations and to tell the story of the Brontëʼs lives and works.


The Brontë Parsonage Museum wanted to rejuvenate their existing telecoms system to bring them more in line with their modern and innovative approach to the visitor experience. The solution needed to direct or ‘signpost’ visitors more effectively to the museum’s various departments and to ‘greet’ visitors with key information such as opening times and special events.

Museum Director Andrew McCarthy commented: “The problem with the old system was that it was becoming unreliable and difficult to run in that we were finding that we couldn’t get the parts to maintain it properly any more. The museum needed to find a solution in a quick turnaround time as this existing system had a few specific issues such as problems with the auto-attendant message system.”

“It was clear that we needed a new solution and Russell Telecom responded to that challenge.”

The Brontë Parsonage Museum partnered with Russell Telecom, a company with over 25 years experience of meeting the telecommunications needs of UK businesses and organisations.


Russell Telecom found that the visitor attraction had a set of specific requirements that needed to be met in the new telecoms solution. They included the need to maintain the system in-house, where with the old system they would have to call on external technicians to fix problems, to have in-built flexibility in the new system and to be able to make any adjustments themselves.

Russell Telecom decided that the flexibility and adaptability of the NEC SV8100 would best suit the museum’s requirements. The SV8100 is the latest digital and IP phone system from NEC and has been specifically designed with the needs of small and medium sized businesses and organisations in mind. The system includes an integrated digital voicemail, which not only provides a night and day service, auto attendant and music on hold but also features call recording as standard.


The new telecoms solution has helped to further improve the ‘visitor experience’ at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Callers are welcomed by a series of options, which direct them to the most relevant part of the museum such as the shop, library or literary society membership. The museum can also easily update the welcome message themselves with information about opening times or special events, for example.

Museum Director Andrew McCarthy commented: “We are very happy with the new system which has provided us with the functionality we need. It is easy to maintain and flexible to use in that we can now do a lot more in-house without having to call in technicians. We can update the system with different messages to suit different times of the year and can store messages so that we donʼt have to re-record them.”

Mr McCarthy added: “I found Russell Telecom really good to work with. They were informative, on the ball and provided everything to deadline. Overall, it was a very smooth transition from the old to the new.”