Museum Computer Network

Advancing digital transformation in museums

MCN 2016 | November 1-4 | New Orleans

The gorgeous and picturesque French Quarter of New Orleans will host this year the MCN Conference. Started way back in 1972, the Museum Computer Network yearly conference explores topics relevant to the crossroad between museum practice, digital technology, and digital media.

This year’s edition will focus on the role and impact of digital technologies on diversity (in all its forms), inclusion, accessibility and agency for museums, as well as innovative models for museum business and leadership. The contributions will aim at responding the question: how technology changes the nature of museum work, including its business models, staffing, and strategic plans?

We are so sorry to miss the conference this year, we will go back next year for sure. MCN is a gathering that we love, it is easy to connect with people and there are so many initiatives ongoing through the Special Interest Groups (SIG). Five years ago in fact as part of the MCN’s California SIG’s activities, our ED Cinzia Perlingieri and Marla Misunas, Collections Information Manager at SFMOMA, brought together academic archaeologists, museum professionals and MCN technologists, in the event “Places, Collections, and Digital Narratives: Towards a Stronger Collaboration Between Museums and Cultural Heritage.” This one-day event was jointly organized by the Museum Computer Network –California Special Interest Group as part of their MCN Inter-conference initiative, CoDA – Center for Digital Archaeology, and Archaeological Research Facility at UC Berkeley. The idea for this workshop came out during the California SIG meeting at the 38th Annual MCN Conference of October 2010, held in Austin, Texas.

Marla Misunas and Cinzia Perlingieri kick-off the CoDA and MCN-Cal-SIG joint event “Places, Collections, and Digital Narratives: Towards a Stronger Collaboration Between Museums and Cultural Heritage” in 2011

The event program focused on the need of an increased collaboration between museum and archaeology/Cultural Heritage worlds. The two domains share many aspects in their daily tasks, and a deeper exploration of each other’s methods, technical solutions, and challenges encountered, can only benefit both our worlds. The big “take” of the day (see here a recap post) was that through a more systematic and stronger co-operation between academic archaeology, museums, and technology innovators, we can enhance histories and stories around objects and collections at any scale. Individual stories and memories, built from material, places, people and media, contribute just as importantly to history as those written into official records. Heritage museums do not expect the public’s historical interest to be drawn solely from the physical objects. Rather, the museum, through meaningful collaborations, must provide individual stories and context from memories that are not simply anecdotal, but enrich the public’s understanding of heritage and history. History always has greater meaning when there are more people to remember it…

The arguments discussed during that 2011 event, are still very relevant and we look forward to another possible collaborative event post 2016 MCN. Maybe a “Places, Collections, and Digital Narratives: Towards a Stronger Collaboration Between Museums and Cultural Heritage – 5 Years Later” would be a great way to see how are things now and how we are doing five years later. It may happen soon, stay tuned…

The 2016 conference website Save & Exit

CoDA Events

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