History Museums: Enhancing Audience Engagement through Digital Technologies
Walker, William S. <State University of New York, USA>
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This essay argues that simply putting a museum’s collection online, or cre-ating a digital kiosk that includes a collections database, does not constitute audienceengagement. History museums utilize the tools and methods of digital history to in-crease the visibility of their collections and engage with visitors. Consequently, muse-ums’digital strategies must explicitly contend with the question of audience. The mostsuccessful projects combine key principlesof museum education, interpretation, andoutreach with the capabilities of digital tools. Approaching digital history with audi-ence engagement in mind enables history museums to achieve more effectively criticalgoals related to relevance, collaborative practice, and community service.