History museums outnumber other types of museums in the United States and yet most often the conversations in the museum technology world revolve around issues and case studies from art and science museums. Art and science museums are leading the way by exposing their collections and experimenting with new ways of interacting with the public (“fill in the case,” crowdsourcing topics, APIs) across digital platforms. History museums, as a group, are behind, and face different challenges when presenting their collections and exhibitions.
How do history-focused cultural heritage institutions look at their collections, exhibitions, and programming in different ways than art and science museums? How must history museums’ digital ventures differ to accommodate their disciplinary perspectives? This roundtable will discuss how history museums approach metadata, context, narrative, and inquiry with respect to their collections, their staff, and their visitors in order to suggest ways to invigorate their digital presence.
16th–19th November 2011