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THE MUSEUM AND NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY
The Smithsonian has just released a free e-book on museums in the modern world of digital technology, today and in the future. Here are some excerpts from the Excutive Summary of the book,
Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, asks museums a fundamental question: “How can we prepare ourselves to reach the generation of digital natives who bring a huge appetite—and aptitude—for the digital world?” His thoughts on how the Smithsonian is tackling this issue and how others have fared in museums and libraries around the world are the subject of a new e-book, “Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age,” available free online beginning Aug. 27.
For museums, the digital world presents a bigger challenge. Clough cites several reasons for this. First, and most obvious: Producing images of three-dimensional objects is more complicated than taking a picture of a page and adding some data. Most museums, including the Smithsonian, previously have not had high levels of technical expertise and equipment. Adding to the challenge is the simple fact that collections are built with exhibitions in mind rather than open access on computers.
Clough sees museums gradually moving beyond showcasing collections to engaging the public online where the “visitors” can sort out and access the objects they find most interesting and then interact directly with the museums. Clough. There are many good reasons for this cautious path, but “the time for toe-dipping is ending for museums, since they cannot stand aloof from the rising tide of information convergence.”
MUSEUMS THAT HAVE MADE IMPRESSIVE USE OF NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY
We have written a number of posts on how museums have adopted the New Media technology to the purpose of making art accessible to the world.
These have included the Van Gogh Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay, ArtTube, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia., and the Cleveland Museum, The Rijksmuseum, The Sistine Chapel as an e-museum, and Andre Malraux’s Museum Without Walls.
Click the title to get the free e- book The Best of Both Worlds. The book is also available for free at iTunes U.