Hacking Heritage: Understanding the Limits of Online Access

Tim Sherratt

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


In 1995, an Australian government plan for digital innovation highlighted some exciting possibilities that lay ahead for the cultural sector. Access to collections would be ‘simplified’ through the creation of an ‘Electronic Smithsonian’-a portal to bring together the holdings of national cultural institutions: For the user this home page access will be like walking electronically down an avenue of all our major museums or galleries. Digital technologies continue to offer a beguiling vision of universal access. Everyone, everywhere will be able to find and use our cultural collections. Using digital technologies, gallery, library, archive and museum (GLAM) institutions can expose the vast number of collection items that will never make it into physical exhibitions. Likewise, Institutional authority can give way to new modes of collaboration, as demonstrated by the growing proliferation of online crowdsourcing projects in the cultural heritage domain. Australian GLAM institutions generally recognise that access to Indigenous cultural collections should be subject to community consultation and control.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of New Digital Practices in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Heritage Sites
EditorsHannah Lewi, Wally Smith, Dirk vom Lehn, Steven Cooke
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780429506765
ISBN (Print)9781138581296
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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