Beyond the online museum

Presented at Museums and the Web, Albuquerque, USA, 2006

Rather than creating a substitute for a real museum visit, Internet technology has the potential to extend and enrich the “total museum experience”, particularly in the areas of personal engagement, participation and community involvement. Participatory virtual exhibitions are one way this can be achieved. This paper examines a number of participatory virtual exhibition projects and discusses their different functional models and interfaces. One project, the recently launched myVirtualGallery (Art Gallery of NSW) is examined in detail, including discussion of important and interesting philosophical issues raised during debate amongst museum professional staff shortly before the project’s official launch.

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