Museum Site Visit Reports: April 17 (report one), May 1 (report two)

Final Paper Proposal (ca. 300 words): May 4

Omeka Items Uploaded: May 15

Omeka Exhibit Created: May 29

Final Paper: June 7 June 15

Museum Site Visit Report

You will be responsible for two site visit reports from museums of your choice. For each museum, choose an exhibit and station yourself there for at least an hour. Observe how visitors interact with the apparatus of the display (e.g., labels, wall text, interactive components, audio guides, etc.). How long do visitors spend with the apparatus? How do they move through the space? Does the lighting affect their behavior? Are they using their own technology, like cell phones? Are they talking to each other? Are they looking at everything, or just a few things? Your report should be about 700 words and should consist of the following:

  1. A description of the exhibit you visited, and its context within the museum.
  2. A description of the behavior your observed, with special attention to things that surprised you, or things you found interesting.
  3. A discussion of what, from your perspective, “worked” about the exhibit setup and apparatus, and what didn’t work.

Omeka Exhibit

In Omeka, an exhibit is a little like a book: It consists of a series of pages, each of which can contain an object, or multiple objects, from those collected within Omeka itself.

Each person in the class is responsible for creating an exhibit that contains six museums within our shared Omeka site. Each museum record must contain the following components:

  1. Well-formed Dublin Core metadata, with all relevant fields complete and appropriate controlled vocabularies.
  2. At least one image, described with appropriate metadata.

The museums you choose should share some common element that interests you. For example, they could all be doing something interesting with technology. They could all have emerged from a common historical moment. Perhaps they all display a certain kind of work, like folk art or taxidermy. Your exhibit should take viewers on a guided tour of your museums, explaining what unites them, how they’re different, and what’s interesting about them.

Final Paper

Option One

(Assignment borrowed from Phyllis Hecht.)

Develop a ten to fifteen-page proposal (double-spaced) for expanding the media and technology program for a museum of your choosing. Familiarize yourself with the museum’s collection and its mission. What type of technology project or projects would benefit this museum to enhance its mission, increase its membership, visitors, educational resources, etc.? The proposal should include a description of the museum (including its mission and programs) and elements of a strategic plan, such as description of project, mission, vision, goals, objectives, and how the success of the project would be evaluated. Cite references that support your ideas (for example, why the proposed project is relevant or how it has been successful in other museums).

Option Two

The ubiquity of digital technology has changed museums’ roles with respect to artifacts.  Many rare pieces can be viewed on the web, and images proliferate with great speed and range. Using examples from various museums’ digital strategies and online presence, and bolstering your argument with theoretical readings on artifacts and materiality, describe how museums are dealing with this shift. (You may find you need to describe several competing trends.) Ten to fifteen double-spaced pages.