2.2 Methodology

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The findings of this analysis are based on a synthesis of recent literature addressing the subject of museums and technology, in addition to a series of semi-structured telephone interviews undertaken with sixteen senior North American museum professionals and academics. The interviews were based on questions grouped into four thematic sections: i. new technologies used in the participant's own institution; ii. new technologies and the museum in general; iii. IT skills and training in museums; and iv. information technology and museums in the future. Telephone interviews took place between March 24 and April 9, 2009, and were conducted in either English or French, where appropriate. A list of more than forty potential interviewees was identified in discussion with members of the Cultural Heritage Information Network (CHIN). This list was subsequently reduced to 20 potential interviewees, whom CHIN contacted and invited to take part in the study. The research group then contacted these professionals to set up dates and times for interviews; two individuals indicated they could no longer participate due to time constraints and two others did not respond. Sixteen interviews were successfully scheduled and conducted.

The interviewees include:

Murtha Baca
Head, Standards Program, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles;
Roger C. Baird
Director, Collection Services, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa;
Yves Bergeron
Director of Studies in Museology, Université du Québec à Montréal;
Martine Bernier
Directrice Formulation et développement professionnel, Société des Musées Québécois, Montréal;
Delphine Bishop
Chief, Collections Management, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa;
Ericka Chemko
Project Manager, Inuit Heritage Trust, Iqaluit;
Alain Depocas
Director, Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D), Fondation Daniel Langlois pour l'art, la science et la technologie, Montréal;
Bill Greenlaw
Executive Director, Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax;
Douglas Hegley
Deputy Chief Technology Officer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art;
Eric Langlois
Director and Professor, Programme en Cybermuséologie, École multidisciplinaire de l'image, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau, Québec;
Paul Marty
Associate Professor, College of Information, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida;
Kelly Mckinley
Head of Education, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto;
Jules Morissette
Projets Web / Service des technologies, Musée de la civilization, Québec City;
Brian Porter
Senior Director, New Media Resources, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto;
Peter Samis
Associate Curator of Interpretation, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California;
Nicole Valliéres
Director, Collections, Research and Programs, Musée McCord Museum, Montréal.

Each participant received documentation in advance of their interview including a description of the project, a consent form, and an interview script. All interviews were conducted by one of three researchers, Dr. Wendy Duff, Dr. Lynne Howarth, or Dr. Jennifer Carter. Interviews were 30 to 75 minutes in length and all but one interview was recorded. Each researcher took notes during her interviews, and subsequently replayed the recordings to gather additional comments and review ideas. In some cases, comments have been recorded verbatim; in other cases, they have been summarized. After completing all interviews, the research group met and reviewed the interview notes question-by-question in order to share findings. The research team identified recurring themes related to the impact of technology on museum practices, and noted differing points of views. The research team then identified examples that illustrated these themes.

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This resource was published by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). For comments or questions regarding this content, please contact CHIN directly. To find other online resources for museum professionals, visit the CHIN homepage or the Museology and conservation topic page on Canada.ca.

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