Tuesday, July 25, 2006

NPR: Web Collections Pose Question: What is a Museum?

Museum Anthropology has been devoting attention recently to thinking about digital/online exhibitions. The subject was taken up in a July 25, 2006 story on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" by Harriet Baskas. The amusing, if a bit disjointed, story was titled "Web Collections Pose Question: What Is a Museum?" I say disjointed because it counterpoised overly serious commentary defending a traditional conception of museums by Wilson O'Donnell (director of the museology program at the University of Washington) with tounge-in-cheek comments by Jim Coudal and Kevin Guilfoile, the enthusiasts behind the online Museum of Online Museums (MoOM) (http://www.coudal.com/moom.php). Unfortunately trapped in-between and not quite in sync with the light, amusing tone that the producers seemed to be seeking was a thoughtful comment on changing Native American museum practices and native reframings of what museums and/as/or cultural centers can be by Amy Lonetree, an assistant professor in the Native American Studies program at Portland State University (and a friend of Museum Anthropology).

The story can be found online at:

For my editorial on the subject, see "On the Review of Digital Exhibitions" in Museum Anthropology 29(1):1-4.

For links to the digital exhibitions reviewed in MUA 29(1), see:

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