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Where do you see the field of History ending up in 20 years with the influx of more technology into not only research but displays and relaying information?

I ask because I hope to work in the museum field someday as a curator and with the influx of new technology of course there will be changes in how we research and display new artifacts. #history #museums #museum-collections #educational-technology

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Victoria’s Answer

Hi Joshua, this is such a great question!!!

Technology is literally going to change museums, displays, interaction with artifacts, and research as we know it.
Big data is going to allow you to search archives and libraries that you couldn't possibly read in 100 life times.

I have included links to the Verizon website below that show how technology is transforming how journalists and historians communicate history, culture, and urgency. Please check out Bryn Mooser on virtual reality cameras and 360-story telling. Then imagine yourself curating his work:

Check out these virtual reality links below to see how virtual reality is becoming incorporated into our daily lives and education. Many times technology starts as a novelty or a game or something to be seen at an expo or world's faire; the next generation starts to see practical applications to everyday life, and the third generation actually uses the technology for work seamlessly (we've gone from horses, to cars, to rockets in 100 years - where will we go next?).

Technology adoption is accelerating very fast. This is due to high speed computing, big data, micro processing, the Internet, and social media. You are literally living in an Information Renaissance.

In the past, historians studied vellum, paper, and papyrus. Museums used static exhibits to show faraway animals, costumes, books, and artifacts. These next links show how virtual reality and big data will rewrite our stories, the way we communicate information, and the way we understand the universe. Imagine yourself curating drones, or giving a virtual tour of mars or the bottom of the ocean.

Let's look at some very cool science museums and the types of exhibits they are offering the public:
The Perot Museum in Dallas has an amazing space exhibit right now and a GEM collection that is exceptional:

Another amazing science museum is the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Incredibly, this museum has done a great job of embracing the latest technology of the time and offering hands on experiences in an applied science format.

Dallas actually has a video game museum which charts our history of gaming. Multiple generations are able to share a game and remember how this area evolved.

Truly amazing in the fact that it charts the history of history is the project to digitize the Vatican Library in Italy: The project aims to digitize the entire Library's collection of manuscripts: 80,000 codices (excluding the archival units) mostly from Middle Age and Humanistic period. The project, started in 2010, focuses on two purposes: the long-term preservation of high resolution images and the online digital library.

There are some incredible museums in your own backyard: Houston has some fabulous art, science, and cultural opportunities:

The fact that you are asking this question, shows your ability to literally see the future and how museums will evolve to make a connection to the public. Please consider studying STEAM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) as your major, even if you choose history, so that you combine the arts/letters with a solid understanding of the technologies that will best communicate these new ideas.

One last link shows you how important your role is for the future. In this new economy filled with amazing technology, museums are going to play a vital roll in bridging the digital divide for all kids. We cannot leave anyone behind - everyone is going to need to access the information age. Access to knowledge will be critical in an information society and you will provide a vital service to Houston and Houston schools. There are approximately 9 million available STEM jobs – and over 4 million available jobs in science and technology alone TODAY. So kids will need access to education and resources that prepare them for success in a high-tech world. Museums showcase technology in a hands on environment and spur imagination.

Consider volunteering to help museums (and schools) bridge this gap and meet in the middle. This would be such an important contribution to the Houston community and something I think you could pitch to a variety of museums.

Will you please keep us posted on your work.
I think you will love this field and I can't wait to see what great museum experiences you will create.

history museums museum-collections educational-technology stem