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by Archaeology Newsroom

Museums for People or for Objects?

Museums have responded differently to the problem of interpretation and the lack of the original context of their collections. Some have conserved their image as “cabinet of curiosities”, presenting beautiful objects with little information about them, while others have opted for a “slice of the past” approach, thus trying to recreate the past “as it was.” A number of museums have realized their elitist role and are trying different ways of opening up to the public and to disadvantaged sections of the community. The use of various interpretation media can assist the communication with the audience and enhance understanding and learning in the museum. The museum visit is a multifaceted phenomenon that includes the interaction between three different contexts, the personal, the social, and the physical. Interactive multimedia applications, when used effectively, can be a powerful interpretation medium in exhibitions. In order to perform successfully its functions (collections management, public service, research), the museum needs to have deep knowledge of its collections and a well-organized system of recording museum information.