“Real Museum Work” and Information Technology – Does not Compute!
The Finnish museum field transformed in many ways in the latter half of the 20th century: administrative structures were reorganised, new professional titles emerged and museological and conservational education was developed. These changes and their effects have been addressed in research (see e.g. Pet- tersson & Kinanen 2010), but there is one practical change that has remained understudied: the computerisation of museums’ day-to-day work.
The empirical material for this paper consists of oral interviews with Finn- ish museum professionals, produced as part of a national museum history project in 2005–2011, and writings in the Finnish museological journal Mu- seopolitiikka. Based on the material, I analyse the empirical concept of “real museum work” as a social practice that is understood through certain material elements, competences and shared meanings, and ask how the introduction of information technology has affected it. How is “real museum work” under- stood in the interviews, and how do computers relate to it?
Copyright (c) 2019 Inkeri Hakamies
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