A recent session of the Birmingham Egyptology Forum addressed the question, Virtual Museums: What are they and what do they do? and, as can be seen from the write up in the ‘Previous Sessions’ section of the Forum page, this gave rise to some lively debate. The session was chaired by Mary Ann Marazzi, a doctoral candidate at the University of Birmingham, who now offers some of her own thoughts and research on the subject which she presents under the head: Virtual Museums: Are they good or bad for established museums?
‘ Virtual museums are exhibits ‘understood as a selection of objects put on show for an audience’ either in a kiosk within an established museum or online (Davies, 2010, p. 307). There are several topics that should be mentioned to discern if virtual museums have any effect on established museums such as: whether or not virtual museums contribute to or detract from revenues; if they supplement physical visits; and if they have educational value or not. Virtual museums or exhibits can include two-dimensional or three-dimensional scans and such didactic information as title, artist (if known), date, provenance, current physical location, and any interpretive information deemed necessary by the collection curators. ………’ more
The Forum session, and the question posed by Mary Ann, each raise a number of topics which are open to further debate; and Birmingham Egyptology would be interested in your opinions on such matters. What is the role – or even an adequate definition – of the ‘virtual museum’?