Philosophical Leadership Needed for the Future: Digital Humanities Scholars in Museums

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Editors Note: For the Museum Computer Network Conference in 2011 Neal Stimler, Associate Coordinator of Images at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  placed a call for a crowdsourced panel. Panelists submitted responses from an open call to the community of professionals in archives, libraries, museums and universities as they reflected on the barriers and benefits of implementing digital humanities methodologies in museums. Stimler instructed participants to make their own YouTube video answering the following three questions:

1) How can museums advance beyond the continuation of traditional practices utilizing digital tools to a new mode of interpretation that seeks to understand the meanings of collections and scholarship in a new media culture?

2) What is required of museums to establish digital humanities research centers within the framework of existing institutions?

3) Why might interdisciplinary and non-traditional scholars from outside the established professional ranks make the best leaders needed for inspired change in the philosophical directions of museums?

You can address your comments and critiques to an individual video or to the questions raised by the panel.


Name: Nik Honeysett

Title: Head of Administration
Organization: J. Paul Getty Museum


Name: Michael Edson

Title: Director of Web and New Media Strategy
Organization: Smithsonian Institution

Responses to Nik Honeysett from YouTube

  • I like the international aspects, training, education. Now junior curators are teaching senior curators, so true. The hard economic times might create more innovation. Good video. I agree with the content here, with his message. (annettestr1 2 months ago)
  • I love Nik’s anecdote at 2:21 about the change from senior curators teaching junior curators about centuries of tradition to junior curators teaching senior curators about “what it is to live in this world of user generated content, dialogue, interpretation and storytelling…” (mpedson 3 months ago)