Harmonizing for dissonance? - new trends in eHumanities

Alexander Badenoch, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS)

DATE

February 17, 2011

Harmonizing for dissonance? Creating a Transnational Virtual Exhibit Using Online Heritage Collections
Creating access to cultural heritage is an important motivation for the digitization and online publication of museum, library and archive collection, one that lies at the heart of projects such as Europeana. But access is only one part of the equation of heritage; especially in an era where objects from local and national collection are coming into potentially worldwide circulation, tools for (re-)contextualization and understanding the multiple voices surrounding heritage objects and documents gain in importance. This presentation will describe one such effort: the Making Europe Virtual Exhibit (a prototype of this can be found at Inventing Europe). This is a project that draws on the research of a book series currently being written on the history of technology of Europe, as well as the digital collections of a growing coalition of heritage institutions to tell stories about the development and use of technology in Europe. It will explore the practices and pitfalls of creating such a platform among such a broad range of stakeholders. How does one create a harmonized platform that can preserve the dissonant voices surrounding objects? How can digital catalogues be made to generate the kind of contextual information conducive to historical exploration? How can users be brought into fruitful dialogue with the various forms of expertise surrounding collections?Harmonizing for dissonance? Creating a Transnational Virtual Exhibit Using Online Heritage Collections
Creating access to cultural heritage is an important motivation for the digitization and online publication of museum, library and archive collection, one that lies at the heart of projects such as Europeana. But access is only one part of the equation of heritage; especially in an era where objects from local and national collection are coming into potentially worldwide circulation, tools for (re-)contextualization and understanding the multiple voices surrounding heritage objects and documents gain in importance. This presentation will describe one such effort: the Making Europe Virtual Exhibit (a prototype of this can be found at Inventing Europe). This is a project that draws on the research of a book series currently being written on the history of technology of Europe, as well as the digital collections of a growing coalition of heritage institutions to tell stories about the development and use of technology in Europe. It will explore the practices and pitfalls of creating such a platform among such a broad range of stakeholders. How does one create a harmonized platform that can preserve the dissonant voices surrounding objects? How can digital catalogues be made to generate the kind of contextual information conducive to historical exploration? How can users be brought into fruitful dialogue with the various forms of expertise surrounding collections?