Where the things come from we learn at museums?

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Thu, 06/27/2013 - 14:36

My article "How a Museum Knows? Structures, Work Roles, and Infrastructures of Information Work" on information work at museum(s) was recently published in JASIST. The idea and interest to the study is undoubtedly related to that I was at a time working at a museum, but also to my general interest in understanding where the information at an information institution comes from.

The abstract of the article says following: "Even if knowledge is a commodity that a museum offers as Hooper-Greenhill () has argued, the mechanisms of how a museum comes to know what it mediates are not well understood. Using a case study approach, the aim of this study is to investigate what types of sources and channels, with a special emphasis on social processes and structures of information, support collaborative information work, and the emergence of knowledge in a museum environment. The empirical study was conducted using a combination of ethnographic observation of and interviews with staff members at a medium-sized museum in a Nordic country. The study shows that much of the daily information work is routinized and infrastructuralized in social information exchange and reproduction of documented information and museum collections." A preprint is available on this website.