Kajsa Hartig

A blog about Cultural Heritage and Digital Communication

Book tip 2: Recoding the Museum #Blogg100

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Recoding the Museum by Ross Parry.

Recoding the Museum by Ross Parry.

One of my latest treasures in the book shelf is Recoding the museum, by Ross Parry (Routledge, 2007). This is an absolute must for anyone developing strategies for digital and museums. It gives valuable insight into the development of digital technology in museums.

It is easy today to draw parallells between the introduction of  digital technology and the perhaps less volontarily adoption of social media, as both have been received by the museum sector in a similar way.

Ross Parry asks: ”Why are museums still having some of the same conversations about digital technology that they began back in the late 1960s?” By this he means the the privileging of the controllable material world, the objects. And the shift towards a seemingly chaotic digital world.

”For it was the privileging of complex tangible things that for many centuries defined what a museum was”.

With digital authenticity was questioned. In fact ”at each turn digital technology appears to have challenged a tenet, a defining characteristic of what a museum is.” And each disruption has been difficult for museums to overcome or embrace. At the same time disruptions have had catalytic effects.

”It has been the Web that has challenged not just where but when a museum visit can take place, and on whose terms, creating a new arena where many museums today have more of their audience on-line than on-site”.

And reading Recoding the museum today I  am even more intrigued by the disruptive effects of social media on museums, putting the tools and channels in perspective of more than 40 years of digital presence in museums.



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