The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

These were posted by New Curator on the Museopunk Ning site.

Made me think about a couple of things in terms of museums and the web.

Thought the First: We can all be curators now. What value does this accord to collections that are placed into the public domain? Who has the right to accord these things their value?

Thought the Second: I've been thinking a lot recently about the space within which the museum "experience" occurs. In online environments, this experience must be modified in some way. The ease of accessing collections is something of a conundrum, for this access via a computer could be seen to be more removed from tactile apprehension than ever. While a computer might only be able to provide auditory and visual experiences of an object, what other sensory experiences might it be able to offer that seeing the actual object could not?

The experience, for certain, would be different - but would it be worse? World Wide Web or other computer experiences can be incredibly multilayered and rich, as is the case with such hypertextual resources as The Victorian Web, or the more graphical environments of 3D gaming.

Ah, musings that come to you when you've fallen asleep in the middle of the afternoon. I think that suggests an early night for me...


J said...

Well, yes, we are all curators. But some curators are more equal than others, if you know what I mean; just because you have some tatty old thing lying around (or some tatty new thing, for that matter), doesn't make it important to anyone but you! Having said that, I do think it's important for us as a culture to take a step back and really learn to evaluate the worth of our objects, to understand what can and should be assigned value out of the vast ocean of material culture we produce every day. I'm packing up to move to Leicester now, and once again (as happens every time I move), I am shocked at both the sheer mass of stuff I own, and how much of it I can live without. There are things in my drawers that don't see the light of day for years! So what is their value? Why have I decided that they are important enough to be collected, classified, and contained even though their primary audience (me) will hardly ever get to see them?

Jenny said...

Hope to see you here soon! I had the same packing/ unpacking issues. Horrible. But why did I keep some things? It's an interesting question, personal value.