ASHonline – published by the Sydney Maritime Museum; home of Sydney Heritage Fleet
What is a Museum? And what is it for?
Hardly new questions, but taking the time to pause, step back and consider those questions will refresh the thinking, expose us to the ideas and the practices of other museums with similar aims and enable us to add to the visitor experiences we offer. Perhaps even see them in a new way.
Those of us with ‘operational’ museums which focus on presenting living items from the Collection, be they trains, buses or ships, can sometimes develop a narrow view of what we are about. It’s possible to lose sight of the fact that we are ‘public’ museums and in many cases our ability to raise funds through tax-deductible donations depends on that.
A periodic step back and a willingness to consider ideas and ways to enhance our public offerings, making them more relevant to a wider audience, is not just good stewardship, it can be vital to our future.
Not all good ideas are new. Some have been around for a while, but are, nonetheless, well worth thoughtful consideration. Here are some points of view which were first presented a decade ago, but they are as fresh today as they were then.