MSL2500H Constructing and Curating Digital Heritage

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The impact of digital technology is increasingly visible in almost all fields of contemporary museum and cultural heritage practice. Digitization of cultural heritage collections, both within and outside museums, as well as the emergence of “born digital” cultural information on the Web, establish digital heritage as a new field of theory and practice, laden with new problems and opportunities, and introducing new issues and agendas related to the digital curation of cultural information. To elucidate these phenomena, this course introduces museum documentation and digital collection theory and practice through a historical examination of museum collections, cataloguing practices, as well as wider traditions on constructing and managing cultural information; it explores how information technologies change the role of museums and cultural heritage institutions as sites for curatorship, as infrastructures for scholarly research, and as memory institutions – guardians of authenticity and intellectual preservation of the past; finally, it examines critically how interactivity and narrative, virtual and augmented reality, social media, user-generated content, linked data and ontologies produce new challenges and opportunities for cultural memory, digital curation and meaning-making.

Students taking this course will be expected to develop a critical understanding of the concepts, issues and methodological approaches relevant to the construction and curation of digital cultural heritage collections, based on a combination of theoretical and applied work.

Former course title: Museums and Information. No change in content.