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Thoughts on the Digitization of Museum Collections

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

When The Pinky Show asked attendees of the 2010 AAM Annual Meeting what they thought about the digitization of museum collections, it was on no one’s radar that Google was planning to do exactly that with the Google Art Project.

Today we bring you a segment asking museum professionals what they think of Kim’s idea of digitizing museum collections. What are your thoughts?

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– Guzel duChateau, AAM New Media Specialist and CFM Program Coordinator

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  1. what are we so afraid of? That the virtual reality of digitization is less valuable an experience? Or is it really that we lose the elite control of the visitor experiences?
    And it is still elitist: so many people in this world can't always afford to visit a lot of local museums, and don't have a brand spanking new computer or smart phone, so – no experience either way! So what are we controlling, and for what priviledged audience, in the first place?

  2. I guess one thing I'm surprised at is that everyone interviewed seemed to assume that digitization was about object visibility and no-one talked about data mobilization, which is the single biggest benefit for research collections. The cynical me is not surprised, because it believes that AAM's worldview is dominated by the arts and humanities – but as you know, Beth, I'm not a cynic

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