Welcome to module 10

Learning Objectives


Module 10 will introduce students to the unique forms of media created and used in museums.

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Name the primary concerns related to the preservation of media
  • List at least three forms of media used by museums
  • Identify one legal and ethical issue associated with media found in museums

lecture THEMES

Digital standards and preservation for museum media

Len Kamerling introduces the important steps to preserve photochemically-developed media and the digitized versions created and curated in museums. View the presentation at Dropbox. (11:32)

types of media generated by and used in museum collections

Museum collections departments are centered around objects and specimens. But media files hold much of the data and rich visual and audio content that makes those collections more useful for research, education, and exhibition. Angela Linn shares some of the media types created by and used in museum collections departments. (15:03)

museum Exhibit gallery media

Producing and presenting media for and within exhibits can greatly benefit the interpretation of the themes and the exhibited objects, as well as contribute to the atmosphere of the gallery or exhibition hall. Review this written interactive contribution by UAMN Director of Exhibits, Roger Topp, to learn more about media used in and created for exhibits. (Estimated time to complete: 35 minutes)

museum media in education

Steffi Ickert-Bond shares her experiences with using media in education ranging from use of digitized data in educational modules, to videos documenting plant use by Iñupiaq elders, and media use in museum exhibits. Documentary filmmaker Sarah Betcher provides insight to the creative process of filming in native communities and showcases some of her films.  (20:33)


The specialized assets known as media created by and used in museums involve a shared vocabulary between professionals. Learn this list of terms to better understand this unique product of museum work.

  1. Born-digital media
  2. Static data sets
  3. Digital art
  4. Bit rot
  5. Obsolete software
  6. Time-Based Media Art
  7. Place-based education
  8. Informal learning
  9. Digital migration
  10. Photo-chemical restoration
  11. Digital restoration
  12. Magnetic materials/assets
  13. Environmental storage

Activities / Assignments

Reading / Video content



Library of Congress – Identify the types of digital content you have (1:48)

Preserving digital art: How will it survive? (2:43)

What is digital art? (5:47)

Ties to Alaska’s Wild Plants (9 ethnobotanical videos, ~ 60 minutes)

Gold Dredging in Nome, Alaska (5:26)

Yup’ik storyteller John Active shares a scary story (3:21)

Nature can heal (6:18)



For Exploration:


Log into our course shell in Canvas and go to ‘Quizzes’ on the left side menu.

Take ‘Quiz 10’: Media in Museums. You will have up to three attempts to match the vocabulary and definitions. Click over to Canvas to take quiz 10.

Meet Up

Time to get together! This is optional but highly encouraged. We will meet via Zoom at 12:30 pm (AKDT) on Friday March 31. The link to the session can be found in this Google Document (you must be part of the class to view the document). If you are unable to join the meeting will be recorded and you will be expected to review the recording prior to writing your discussion post (see below).

Assignment – Discussion

Activity: Visit a local or online museum and find a piece of media. Describe it, consider its effectiveness in achieving its intended goal, then think about the issues surrounding the preservation and maintenance of that media file. Write about your experiences:

  1. Your post should be roughly 500 words and should include an image and a link to the online media, if relevant.
  2. At the end of your post, include a question for your fellow students to answer.
  3. Respond to each others’ posts (you will need to respond to/comment on at least two other posts).
  4. Select “10. Media Discussion” from the list of discussion categories on the right hand side of your posting window on the dashboard.

Looking Forward

Next week we’ll look at museum exhibits from the perspective of the collections – the ethics of how to create them as well as some of the people who help make them happen.

Did you know?

Fun tidbit not to be tested on.

The Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway, houses the Fram, the actual polar ship used by Fridjof Nansen in his 1893-96 expedition to the Northwest Passage and the first ship especially built in Norway for polar research. The museum also holds the Gjoa, the first ship to be sailed through the entire Northwest Passage, by Roald Amundsen and his six companions in 1903-06.