Developing museums’ resilience by digitizing archives and operations

Institutions that store and protect cultural heritage, such as museums and archives, are vital resources for mental health, well-being, social cohesion, and cultural learning. Today, more than ever, the importance of culture and creativity for society is clear. During the Covid-19, those with access to the Internet have constantly resorted to online cultural production provided by institutions and private initiatives. Who, during the past months, has not watched a live session with their favourite singers, read an e-book temporarily available during the months of lockdown, or visited a museum “walking” through its digital corridors in a 360-degree view?

Unfortunately, the lockdown measures over this year and the impossibility of physical visiting have caused massive loss of revenue for cultural institutions such as museums and archives. In addition, the digital gap due to lack of Internet accessibility in many regions around the world have increased largely and strongly affected those institutions that cannot resort to such resources, especially the smaller and private initiatives in small cities or rural areas.  

In order to tackle these major challenges, museums and archives must urgently assess their needs to survive bankruptcy, digitize their operations for remote work, adopt a sustainable business model by partnering with other social players, and rethink new ways of relating with the public.

The positive lesson learned, according to the UNESCO report about how museums are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, is that many institutions around the world have shown strong resilience in adapting to the social isolation measures and have adopted long-term reforms. Among the actions taken, using digital environments through virtual visits and the use of social networks have been the most popular ways of museums trying to maintain contact with their audience and generating financial resources. However, such initiatives depend on the region’s access to Internet connectivity, which is not the case for many countries, especially in Africa.

“In this respect, the implementation of a more balanced digital policy requires an overall reflection, focusing on the digitisation of collections, an up-to-date inventory of collections, minimum IT infrastructure, sufficiently stable Internet access and adequate staff skills.” (UNESCO, 2020, p.18)

If your institution is looking for ways to digitize your archives and museum collections, contact us to learn more about Collecte, our tool for storing and preserving history in all its richness.

Collecte is a modular storage platform for event- and phenomenon-based objects. It offers entry forms for different object types, such as archive, artefact, artwork, audio-visual, and photos. It is mobile-friendly and provides a powerful search mechanism for finding stored objects as well as mass manipulation of entered data. The one cloud-based installation is done in a few hours and enables agile development and maintenance. In addition, our competitive pricing is based on an annual fee, supporting your organization growth without changing its value.

Contact us for helping you in mapping out your short- and long-term goals to increase your institution’s efficiency by digitizing your archives and operations.