Responding to Open Access: How German Museums use Digital Content

Julia Wiedemann, Susanne Schmitt, Eva Patzschke


Museums are expected to safeguard society’s cultural heritage while also making it publicly available to all. Recently, the digital transformation increased political and societal claims on museums to make their digital content openly available. This paper explores museums’ reactions to this claim and looks at how museums currently utilize their digital content. By analysing qualitative interviews with German museum officials we have found museums to follow four different types of strategies which are ‘Societal engagement’, ‘Safeguarding of heritage related knowledge’, ‘Scientific infrastructure’ and ‘marketing ends’. These were embedded in museums’ organizational identity and the prioritising of some of their tasks.


Museum strategy, digital content, open access, digital valorization, museum management

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Copyright (c) 2019 Julia Wiedemann

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

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