Damage in our Museums - Advice needed

One of our members writes: We are a new open-air museum founded in 2011, which focuses especially on families with children (up to 80% of our visitors). Annually, almost 30 thousand visitors visit our museum. Our facility is quite extensive – it covers 9 hectares, and contains several interactive features and equipment.

Our problem concerns the behaviour of a significant number of our visitors who do not adhere to clearly stated rules and use our facility and its equipment carelessly, and in a different way than it is intended for, despite posted instructions. This way, they damage the equipment. Their behaviour costs us considerable money for repairs and restoration.

4,500 Museum Professionals meet – and EXARC was present

Early September, the triennial General Conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) took place in Kyoto (JP). EXARC was present with its director, and one of its members, both from the Netherlands. 

The Conference was themed: “museums as cultural hubs, the future of tradition”. As affiliated organisation, EXARC was present at the meetings of the Advisory Council, which covered two days. Main debate was the proposal for a new museum definition; this was not only a description, but also included elements of the envisioned role of museums in society. After long discussion, it was decided that it was too early to decide about this. The coming year will be interesting. 

2020 EXARC Meeting in Berlin: Documentation Strategies

There are probably about 3,000 archaeological house reconstructions around the world, most of them in archaeological open-air museums. This means we have already a huge amount of information and experience “locked-in” these buildings. The same is true for all other craft activities carried out in open-air museums. A lot of knowledge relating to crafts is known as tacit knowledge, meaning difficult to transfer using words. It is learned through experience. 

This wealth of information could be preserved and used for research and dissemination if documented and made digitally available in a standardised form. Only few archaeological open-air museums have enough qualified staff to carry out standardised documentation...