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 hereonline / onsite

online / onsite

Jasper Visser's picture

The Community as the Centrepiece of a Collection: Building a Community of Objects with the National Vending Machine

Jasper Visser and Dennis Tap, Museum of National History, The Netherlands


Traditionally, museum collections are often the basis of community-building activities. The National Vending Machine of the Museum of National History is attempting to reverse this relation and put the community at the heart of a collection of objects, stories and discussions. After comparing the quantitative and qualitative results of two different instalments of the project, this reversed relation has proven to be viable, as long as a number of things are taken into consideration. Most importantly: the key elements consist of a focus on the audience rather than on the collection, a link between onsite and online, immediate rewards and participatory design.

Keywords: Collection, Community, Digital Cultural Objects, Online / Onsite, Participation, Crowd-sourcing

The Community as the Centrepiece of a Collection – building a community of objects with the National Vending Machine

online / onsite
digital cultural objects

Most modern-day museums use their existing physical collection and the events they stage as a starting point for online activities. Communities are built around (parts of) the collection or specific offline events of a museum. Literature such as Museum and the Web papers, describes numerous case studies of successful projects.

Paper - in formal session