International Museum Day 18 May 2018

Posted on April 17, 2018

18 May 2018



Hyperconnectivity is a term invented in 2001 to design the multiple means of communication we have today, such as face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging, telephone or the Internet. This global network of connections becomes each day more complex, diverse and integrated. In the hyperconnected world of today, museums worldwide join the trend and for this reason, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has chosen the theme “Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics” to celebrate International Museum Day 2018.

It is impossible to understand the role of museums without taking into account all the connections they make. They are an inherent part of their local communities, their cultural landscape and their natural environment. Thanks to technology, museums can now reach way beyond their core audience and find new publics when approaching their collections in a different way. For example, the University of Pretoria Museums have introduced new technology such as adding multimedia elements to their permanent exhibitions in the form of large LED TV screens, digital frames and they have also expanded their online presence with new museum e-brochures and other digital formats, allowing greater access to the museum galleries and collections.

However, not all these new connections are due to technology. As museums strive to maintain their relevance in society, they shift their attention to the immediate community and the diverse groups that comprise the UP community. As a result, over the past few years, the UP Museums have witnessed a major growth in visitor numbers (largely owed to the installation of electronic visitor counters), most particularly local tourists coming to Pretoria and students visiting the museums beyond their formal lectures, engaging students in viewing the collections out of interest and curiosity.  To engage these new publics and audiences strengthen their connections with them and the UP Museums are promoting twelve newly refurbished galleries with new ways of interpreting and presenting their collections.

The University of Pretoria Museums in the Department of UP Arts have been proud members of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) for over a decade and are inviting all students and staff to join in this celebration and come spend time exploring, sharing, learning and connecting with the UP Museums. For booking of tours and appointments please contact the Museum Officer, Nicole Hoffmann via [email protected] or Tel: 012 420 2178. Join ICOM and the UP Museums to celebrate this International Museum Day with participation of more than 36,000 museums hosting events in about 157 countries worldwide.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society, and it has been steadily gaining momentum ever since. In 2017, International Museum Day garnered record-breaking participation with more than 36,000 museums hosting events in some 156 countries.

- Author Sian Tiley-Nel
Published by Nicole Hoffmann

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