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Title: Increasing the digital literacy of museum professionals: digital innovation and the museum sector in Northern Ireland
Author: Murphy, Oonagh
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 9087
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2014
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As digital technologies increasingly shape the way we work, play and learn, museums are faced with the challenge of strategically responding to the demands of digital culture. This thesis argues that small, digitally conservative qll.lseums risk being left behind if they do not tackle this challenge. While there is a large body of literature on museums and digital technologies, little has been written on developing the foundations that support digital practice in museums. As such the focus of this thesis is on those museums taking their first digital steps, opening a Twitter account, or thinking about creating a new job role, with a mainly digital remit. Furthermore this thesis questions the role of museum studies as an academic discipline in supporting the development and implementation of digital technologies and emerging practices within small museums. Taking the museum sector in Northern Ireland as a context specific scope this investigation proposes a model of museum studies as critical praxis, and firstly defines barriers to digital practice within the museum sector in Northern Ireland and secondly designs practice based responses to disrupt these barriers, namely: skills, confidence and a risk adverse culture. Through critical praxis this investigation proposes context specific models for digital skills development, research and development, and digital literacy training for emerging museum professionals. Taking a methodologically inventive approach, practice based research (the development and implementation of events, training and site specific research and development prototypes), audits of policy and practice, and email interviews are used to form a "mixed methods approach within this research. This thesis demonstrates that skills and confidence are more important than funding and access to technology when it comes to developing a more progressive approach to digital practice in small, digitally conservative museums.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available