Digital Technologies in Museums : An ethnographic study
Abstract: This thesis follows a research at the Mineralogy and Petrology Museum of the University of Athens (Greece). The purpose of the research is to examine how digital technologies can support museums in attracting new visitors during the economic crisis, and provide design suggestions. The research was conducted under the interpretive paradigm using the ethnographic methodology and the participatory design approach. The staff, volunteers and artists related to the museum participated in interviews, thinking aloud sessions and a workshop. In addition, several observations were conducted during guided tours of visitors. The data were analyzed through thematic analysis. The findings provided themes of identified issues and opportunities concerning the implementation of digital technologies in the museum, such as the underlying policies of the University of Athens, the role of the museum in society, material in the collections that attracts visitors, the importance of the staff in guided tours and the technologies currently being used. Suggestions were put forward during the workshop and were elaborated later on. The thesis aspires to contribute to studies that concern the sustainability of cultural establishments that are being afflicted by the economic crisis currently veils Europe.
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