Virtual museums have come into existence as a result of the new technologies that have provided us with new ways of obtaining information and communicating. Such technologies have allowed us to establish new ways of visiting museums in a context where space limitations are eliminated due to the technological resources that allow us to incorporate certain cultural aspects that the traditional museum does not.

Thus, information and communication technology has been able to open museums to a myriad of new and different possibilities. Among these, we can highlight virtual museums (some as extensions of physical museums and others created exclusively for virtual means).

A virtual museum can be defined as a collection of electronic artefacts and digital informational resources. It can include photographs, drawings, texts, images, graphics, databases, paintings and so on. A virtual museum is essentially a collection of images and information saved on a server.

Virtual museums can be grouped into two categories based on their content:

  1. Those that exhibit non-digital artwork and mainly disseminate their collections through Internet portals. They may also offer updates about temporary expositions, educational activities as well as information about their location, schedule and price. This type of “museum on the Internet” can range from a digital version of the museum’s brochure to a technological infrastructure that allows museum goers to virtually explore the museum room-by-room.
  2. Those that exhibit digital works of art (net art, cyber art, web art, etc.) and bring us to the intangible environment located in the non-place known as cyberspace that includes specific technological and aesthetic characteristics.

Both types of museums are related to the concept of “net art or “”. Thus, net art refers to the use of the Internet as a means of diffusion and/or exhibition of content usually found in a different setting. utilises the Internet itself and/or its content, at any level whether technical, cultural or social, as the basis of a work of art.


Implications of Technological Trends on Museums and Cultural Centres

Some of the most significant implications for virtual cultural centres and museums that come from the normalisation of new technologies are:


Virtual museums offer a new way to access culture not only for those who want to visit museums or cultural centres located in other cities, but also for people with disabilities who may experience difficulty accessing these opportunities. Thus, virtual museums are also a means of social integration.

Click here to see a list of some world-class museums that you can visit without leaving the house:

Have you had the opportunity to try the virtual museum experience? We’d like to hear what you thought! Don’t for get to comment!

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