Museums and digital engagement: a New York perspective
This research project focuses on the impact of digital culture on museum practice, and looks at how large international museums are embracing digital culture and using technology to improve their relationship with visitors. It focuses on museums in New York, and how the innovations they are leading can be built on by organisations elsewhere. It summarises key trends, including embracing contemporary culture, museums as places for experimentation by visitors, peer learning and collaboration, and the museum as a mission-lead institution. The research project was funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
Many of the successful projects witnessed during this research visit were not ‘digital’ projects per se, but were instead digitally mediated solutions, solutions that were developed in response to real issues, faced by real museums, and real visitors. Some increased access to collections, others provided new ways to learn in gallery and online, and some projects enabled curators to disseminate research about their collections in new ways. The discussion that follows focuses on those examples which best portray the ground-breaking work being carried out by museums in New York.