Evolving museums: The road to the future

Amber Geurts, The Netherlands

Wondering how you could adapt an effective online strategy for your museum that goes beyond the "traditional offline" museum? This paper aims to stimulate discussions about the nature and management of technology-related organisational change within the museum sector. Literature points out how most museums see the possibilities the Internet and ICT's pose to their "traditional offline" museum. However, most museums struggle to adequately adapt themselves to this new environment online as it is not clear what kind of online strategies museums could exploit and why. Therefore, museums increasingly wonder how they should evolve in order to remain relevant in the digital domain and to effectively respond to the technological developments within and outside their sector. Considering the continuous technological developments, it becomes increasingly important to provide museums a detailed and informed understanding of the way museums could deal with digitization by coming up with new visions, policy measure and/or governance models for the digital domain that go beyond the “traditional offline” museum.

This is why this study digs into this "research gap" by investigating how the road to the (digital) future of museums has evolved itself. By conducting a qualitative analysis of the use of new digital possibilities by Dutch museums and by focusing on the effects of this accommodation on the overall performance of the museums, this study aims to illustrate what a more effective utilization of the Internet and digital technologies by museums entails. The preliminary results of the study indicate various online strategies employed by museums. The results also indicate several organizational media literacies that enable a more effective online strategy for museums.

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