Week 5 – Curating Museums on the Web

Hello fellow bloggers!

This week ive mostly been….

Week 5 on the Digital Heritage course saw us conclude ‘The Online Museum’ section with a discusion on ‘Curating Museums on the Web’. In week 4 Malcolm Chapman had enlightened us towards Manchester Museums humble beginnings on the web. A key concept of that talk was how quickly ideas and technology surrounding the web, change and become outdated within in a number of years. This was highlighted early on in week 5 as we examined some of the terms used to to describe Museums on the Web, including Virtual, Hyper, Cyber, Digital and Museum Online. The most common of these in use right now is Museum Online (eg. Tate Online), but I thought it was both interesting and important to know about the previous terms and how museums have evolved their websites to fit these models according to popular trends of the time. We used Google Fight to confirm the current champion of terms! Conclusive proof, more reliable than an 8 Ball

After canvassing opinion from our group following the seminar, we all seemed to have enjoyed this session the most so far. As well as an improved table layout, this was probably down to the fact that we are now beginning to feel more confident with the subject matter after three weeks of studying online museums.

Towards the end of the seminar we split into smaller groups to consider the relationship between the onsite/online museum and the local/remote visitor, for the museums we had looked at as part of our fieldwork. Alex and I looked at the Powerhouse museum online collection, and for the purpose of the exercise we were suppposed to ignore the links between the local visitor and the onsite museum. However, with this particular example we found it difficult as the links between the the onsite/online and local/remote appeared to be so fluid. A good example of A. Barry’s ‘Virtuous Circle’ – the notion that the digital website should not be remote from the physical museum.

I am now looking forward to next weeks session and the beginning of a new topic.

See you all soon,