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What is digital heritage and how are museums using it?
- Digital heritage is the transformation of museum records and artifacts from physical material items to digital representation thereof.
- Permits people worldwide to have access to the information
- Digital content can be presented in combination with actual artifacts in museums, in the form of QR tags or interactive tools
- Example: posting videos on YouTube helps explain things to people who would have been missed otherwise
Values and downsides to reproductions…how have they been effectively utilized? Be able to provide examples from class, readings, research
- Pros and cons to the concept of monument/artifact reproductions.:
- The negatives include the cost of reproduction and the loss of authenticity, the latter of which varies based on cultural differences.
- The values include preservation of the authentic monuments. In some cases originals are not easily accessible.
- Pros include: conservation, restoration, reproduction for multiple uses
- Example: Richmond Theater monument
Examples of problems/challenges for museums and provide solution examples for these (use readings, case study of Chalcatzingo).
- Museums have been undergoing a number of changes lately.
- One major problem that they’ve been fighting is the funding.
- Changing their setup to attract more customers
- Catering to many different types of cultures and levels
- One example of that is at Chalcatzingo
- Visitors include residents and tourists from the city and experts in archaeology who are researching the site
- Designing the QRs for the site should be done on multiple levels
- Website should also have interactive pages for different age groups
What are the primary challenges facing Chalcatzingo and how can a concerted interpretative effort assist with these areas of interest as outlined by the Mexican archaeologists?
- there are people living on the grounds of what was part of the actual archaeological site
- Artifacts found on private properties
- Monuments and artifacts have been stolen or demanded to be transferred to other museums.
- the meaning of the site has been modified to fit the life today, compared to what it was before
- How people feel about what you did
- Interpretive side
- How people feel about replicas
Be able to discuss/outline problems and difficulties faced by museums that relate to databases and their integration (use info from lectures and readings in your answers). What are the inherent problems with data sources that museums must face?
- Software and formats that are currently being used may eventually become out of date.
- Museums worldwide utilize different databases with different field names and in different languages.
- Databases, particularly, contain multiple factors such as: field names & sizes, repeating fields, missing links, characters/symbols used.
- Long-term data preservation challenges
- In The Wired Museum, the black box is defined as a place where the integration occurs, like boolean functions and changing the case in titles
Know some poignant examples of ways that technology is helping museums to remain relevant and be able to demonstrate how technologies can be effectively utilized at Chalcatzingo (from data management to interpretive design, to off-site display to research).
- Chalcatzingo is an archaeological site with a small museum.
- Many monuments have been transferred from the site to the main museum in Mexico City; another one has been suggested to transfer.
- Monument has now been digitized via LiDAR stationary scanner
- Original can be transferred to the main museum, where it can also be in a safer more protective environment
- Replica to remain on display at the site museum
Provide an overview of technologies for the near future that will (and are) being used by museums.
- Database applications, like PastPerfect, track the museums’ collections and research
- Collections can be displayed online be accessed worldwide for research and learning about the collection items.
- Provide images with additional details that could not be seen in real life
- QR tags are very helpful and can be used with smart phones. These links can be setup to pull up a text description, an phone-friendly interactive site, or additional imagery
- Interactive screens are useful as educational
- 3D models can be displayed on computers so that the artifact can be viewed from many different perspectives and with more details than the original. These can be displayed at the museum or online.
- Virtual tours permit people to take a tour of the museum that otherwise would not have access to it, if they couldn’t travel there.
- Augmented realities
Know the difference between an outsite and a site museum and what important considerations for these include
- An outsite is a building or place that is on or near where the archaeology was found, but not officially a museum.
- permanent or temporary displays used as a way to make archaeology more public and accessible.
- Can contain plain artifacts
- Example: Athens train station
- A site museum is a building that was constructed at the archaeological site to display artifacts thereof, such as the museum at Chichen Itza
Be able to discuss challenges being faced by site museums
- lack of support by INAH
- Monuments being stolen
- local reappropriation of cultural patrimony
- source of subsistence income for the locals
- Example: San Lorenzo sculptures
Know what a Virtual Museum is (examples?) and how technologies are assisting museums in meeting societal expectations?
- A virtual museum is an information seeking space, a social gathering space and a new artifact, embodying social processes and projects.
- Virtual museums have been changing attitudes towards ‘Ownership’ and ‘Stewardship’ of Collections
- Making data more accessible
- People are more likely to visit the real museum, after being at the virtual
Discuss how social media is being utilized by museums, provide a success story and one that is maybe not so effective – and why? How can social media be used effectively in our case study at Chalcatzingo…and how can you know that these are effective? Feedback?
- Positive factors:
- Reach digital audiences
- Interactive perspective
- Mobile access
- Negative factors:
- Controlled postings need to be maintained
- Info that you didn’t want out, gets out
- Not accurate
- INAH must validate any posting info
- Must be controlled
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