Crow 360: Including Rural Schools in the Museum Experience

This article explores a program designed by educators at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, an art museum in Dallas, Texas. The outreach program uses 360-degree technology to bring a virtual museum experience into rural classrooms located more than an hour drive from the museum, a distance that in many cases precludes a school field trip. First, the article details why the educators chose to pilot this outreach program for middle schoolers. Next, it takes the readers through the pedagogical and technological program design, including adjustments made to the plan when the technology did not work as anticipated. Then, the article tells the story of how the pilot program was implemented. Finally, it provides those interested in piloting similar programs with tips based on lessons learned throughout the process.

Struggling and Advocating for Visitor Inclusion: The Case of the National Museum of Colombia

This work focuses on the different struggles to enhance visitor access that museum professionals deal with when developing museum projects. The discussion is based on the participation of the National Museum of Colombia’s Department of Education during a museum renovation process and the design of projects targeting visitors with different disabilities. The article analyses the diverse motivations of museum departments and disciplines, their contradictions, and the need for policies and methodologies to ensure that visitors are placed at the centre of educational and cultural projects. Moreover, it questions the role of communities as passive targets and proposes a shift in the design and leadership of inclusive activities. The inclusive Volunteers Program, the integration of devices for “non-segregated” enjoyment, and the development of educational services for people with disabilities provide a framework not only to describe good practices, but also to discuss the difficulties and challenges that museums face when seeking to guarantee an on-going process of inclusion.

Virtualizing Conservation: Reflections on Conservation Theory

This article addresses to what extent computer applications contribute to museum conservation objectives, defined as the balance of preservation, investigation, and display of artifacts. It evaluates novel two- and three-dimensional digitization technologies for enhanced examination and recording. It provides case studies on alternative digital conservation methodologies for conservation operations. It approaches the coexistence of physical and digital artifacts critically within the museum environment. It explores the nature and transformations introduced in the theoretical frameworks for conservation and the interrelationships formed between traditional museum practices, conservation objectives, and computer applications. Results indicate that the proposed methodologies alter the dynamics of conservation. Digital techniques manage to balance between the core ideas of conservation. These are potentially initial steps for a new subdiscipline that will focus on virtualization of conservation practice, rather than digitization of artifacts.