Museums and the Web

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Think Globally, Digitize Locally: charting an institution's course toward the digital social good


TitleThink Globally, Digitize Locally: charting an institution's course toward the digital social good
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsDawson, B.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web
Conference Start DateApril 13-17, 201
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedDenver, Colorado, USA
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordscollection access, cyberinfrastructure, digital content, digitization, public good, strategy
Abstract

Digitized collections afford significant museum experiences, and can result in a wide range of satisfying outcomes and benefits – both planned and emergent – for the visitor. Collections also represent a broader benefit – a public good. They are specific instances of the global "Utopian" project of digitizing the sum total of human knowledge and making it available on-line – the potential benefits of which cannot be fully anticipated, and continue to emerge.Cultural institutions are enmeshed in the broader debates of digital policy and strategy. Some countries are seen as leaders, with digital initiatives that thrive, while others appear to fall behind. This paper examines an institution's role in the broader social project of digitization today. specifically the context in Canada, and considers a range of projects at three of Canada's national museums, looking at how these projects support institutional mandates and objectives vs. external priorities. It examines the intersection of policies, priorities and strategies between the institutional and national levels, and how this intersection influences the path that institutions take with their digitization and access initiatives.This may provide insights on the broader context in which cultural institutions digitize, helping institutions understand their digitization priorities and challenges, and their relationship to their environment and external stakeholders.

URLhttp://www.archimuse.com/mw2010/papers/dawson/dawson.html