Skip to main content

Renewal of the Museum in the Digital Epoch

Part of the Arts, Research, Innovation and Society book series (ARIS)


At the beginning of the twenty-first century, digital technologies are radically changing the way young people communicate, learn and spend their free time. Museums, in order not to lose the next generations as visitors, must conform to the new expectations and needs. On a large scale, the museum must address young people, provide a forum for self-expression and participation and advertise itself by new means. On a smaller scale, the style and means of individual exhibitions must change, providing space for activity, emotions and multiple modalities besides text, personalized visits, interactive explorations and self-expression, evoking emotions but meanwhile also fulfilling educational objectives. Digital technologies—by the yet smaller, cheaper and more and more pervasive devices and services—provide ample means to reach these goals. In our article first we provide a conceptual framework, focussing on the Internet generation as new audience and traditional and new functions of museums. We show how digital technologies may be used to reach six major and general goals. For each issue, we discuss concrete recent examples, from international and own projects. Finally, we address the roles in the complex process of design, development and daily operation of digital applications, in the context of a digital strategy for the museum.


  • Design
  • Digital museum
  • Digital technologies
  • Evaluation
  • Learning
  • New media culture
  • BDT (basic digital technologies)

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-93955-1_10
  • Chapter length: 16 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-93955-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)


  1. 1.

    McLuhan, Marshall (1962). The Gutenberg Galaxy: the making of typographic man. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 293. ISBN 978-0-8020-6041-9.

  2. 2.

    Bennett, Karl Maton and Lisa Kervin (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence, British Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp. 773–964.

  3. 3.

  4. 4.

    A sample of the annual conferences and forums: MuseumNext, Museumandthe Web, MuseumID, …

  5. 5.

    The Daily Telegraph puts forward the progressive attitude of museums in Scandinavia to be followed by institutions in the UK.

  6. 6.

    The study sums up the results of the “Digital Culture and Education” study by 2009, supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

  7. 7.

    Henry Jenkins (ed.), Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the twenty-first Century, MacArthur Foundation, The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England, 2006, 5–6.

  8. 8.

    Same, p. 13.

  9. 9.

    Same, p. 22.

  10. 10.

    Pintér, Róbert, Információs társadalom: utópia vagy valóság? =

  11. 11.

    Buckingham, D. After the Death of Childhood, 2000, Polity Press, Cambridge.

  12. 12.

    Jenkins (ed.), (footnote 8)), xiv, 35–104.

  13. 13.

    Nina Simon, Why Participate? = The Participatory Museum, Santa Cruz, California: Museum 2.0, 2010, i–vi.

  14. 14.

    Ébli Gábor, Évforduló után—merre tovább hazai múzeum kutatás = Uő, Az antropologizált múzeum, Typotex, Budapest, 2009, 154–171, 169.

  15. 15.

  16. 16.

  17. 17.

  18. 18.

    The app was designed by students of our “Digital Museum” course in 2012, in cooperation with the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.

  19. 19.

  20. 20.

  21. 21.

  22. 22.

  23. 23.

  24. 24.

  25. 25.

  26. 26.


  1. Alexander J, Barton J, Goeser C (2013) Transforming the art museum experience: gallery one. In: The annual conference of museums and the web, 17–20 Apr 2013, Portland, USA.

  2. Anderson G (Editor-in-Chief) (2012) Reinventing the museum: the evolving conversation on the paradigm shift. Alta Mira Press, Lanham, MD

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bocatius B (2013) Open data—participation in online-image-collections. In: NODEM 2013.

  4. Coburn J (2013) Deconstructing the online collection: the value of creatively repurposing museums and archives.

  5. Drotner K, Schrøder KC (2013) Museum communication and social media. Routledge, New York

    Google Scholar 

  6. Gardner H (2011) Frames of mind—the theory of multiple intelligences. Basic Books, New York

    Google Scholar 

  7. Gottlieb H, Nilsson D (2005) Touch of Kandinsky, Know-How Books. The Interactive Institute

    Google Scholar 

  8. Jenkins H (Editor-in-Chief) (2006) Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: media education for the 21st century. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL

    Google Scholar 

  9. Knast A (2014) Multimodal exhibitions. How to enhance learning and design quality? In: NODEM2014, Varsava.

  10. Krathwohl DR (2002) Revising Bloom’s taxonomy. Theor Pract 41(4):212–218.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  11. McGonigal J (2011) Reality is broken: why games make us better and how they can change the world. Penguin, New York

    Google Scholar 

  12. Papert S (1996) The connected family: bridging the digital generation gap. Longstreet, Atlanta, GA

    Google Scholar 

  13. Prensky M (2001) Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon 9(5):1–6

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  14. Simon N (2010) The participatory museum. Museum 2.0, Santa Cruz, CA, pp i–vi

    Google Scholar 

  15. Tapscott D (1998) Growing up digital: the rise of the net generation. McGraw-Hill, New York

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zsófia Ruttkay .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Ruttkay, Z., Bényei, J. (2018). Renewal of the Museum in the Digital Epoch. In: Bast, G., Carayannis, E., Campbell, D. (eds) The Future of Museums. Arts, Research, Innovation and Society. Springer, Cham.

Download citation