Museum digital projects during COVID-19: from lockdown connections to digital transformation?


Friday, April 23, 2021: 2:00pm - 3:30pm - - Paper Session

Chiara Zuanni, University of Graz, Austria

Published paper: Museum digital projects during COVID-19: from lockdown connections to digital transformation?

This paper will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on museum digital practices. It draws on a project mapping museum digital projects promoted, launched, or developed since March 2020. The dataset was compiled by the research team at the University of Graz and thanks to the contribution of museum professionals worldwide; as of September 2020, it includes over 600 digital initiatives, and a range of social media data.
The analysis has first focused on the reception and use of these digital resources: the focus on digital engagement with museums during the pandemic has been complemented by a research on the use of museum digital materials in online learning activities in secondary schools. In parallel, social media datasets have been analysed to observe public attention and creative engagement with cultural heritage during the lockdowns.
Finally, the project has begun to analyse the long term impact the pandemic may have on museum digital strategies; on the organisation of digital work and teams in museums; and on the digital skills that emerged as necessary for the future of the sector.
The paper will share more information on the background and development of the map; it will share examples of the social media analysis and of the results of work with local schools and museums in order to gain a qualitative understanding of digital engagement with cultural institutions during the pandemic; and it will present the initial and still emerging reflections on the impact of the pandemic on the digital transformation of museums.

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