Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

You are hereMW / Museums & wikis: two case studies

Museums & wikis: two case studies

TitleMuseums & wikis: two case studies
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsRoberto, F., & Looseley R.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web 2009. Proceedings
Conference Start DateApril 15-18, 200
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedIndianapolis, Indiana, USA
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordsaudience engagement, science museum, The British Postal Museum and Archive, user-generated content, wiki

The open editing framework that wikis enable is an excellent way for museums to engage audiences on-line: wikis allow collaboration, and museums seek public participation and a venue for debate. The Science Museum Object Wiki and The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) Wiki were both launched separately by the authors of this paper in early 2008. Although they use similar wiki software, they differ in their aims and objectives, in their methods of engaging their audiences, and in the types of audience behaviour that have arisen. This paper introduces and evaluates both wikis. Using them as examples, it goes on to demonstrate the benefits of wikis for museums, as well as the challenges. Understanding the reasons behind the reticence on the part of certain audiences to participate, the authors suggest the 'problem' may lie in the perceived authority of the museum itself.