Theorizing Born Digital Objects: Museums and Contemporary Materialities

Chiara Zuanni


This paper explores the characteristics of born digital objects and how their materiality is framed and transformed in the musealization process. It draws on vibrant materialism and web archiving, framing born digital objects as assemblages and proposing a distinction between these and reborn digital objects, i.e. their collected counterparts. The paper relates this new framing of digital objects to established museological frameworks, such as analyses of the musealization process through the lenses of semiotics and research on authenticity in relation to digital reproductions, in order to unpick the ontological and epistemological transformation this contemporary form of heritage undergoes in entering the museum.


born digital; contemporary collecting; social media; authenticity; materiality

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2021 Chiara Zuanni

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
We use both functional and performance cookies to improve visitor experience. Continue browsing if you are happy to accept cookies. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

University Home