Museums in Transition: The Annual Conference of the Deutscher Museumsbund 2021

After the annual conference of the Deutscher Museumsbund had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic, it will take place digitally this year from 2nd to 5th May. The corona pandemic has shown how important digital access is to cultural assets and so the Deutscher Museumsbund will be focusing on digital collection work in its annual conference.

Conference logo of the online annual conference of the Deutscher Museumsbund

With the motto “Digitale Sammlungsarbeit: Das Museum im Wandel” (“Digital Collection Work: The Museum in Transition”), the conference will focus attention on how digital collection work influences the museum as a whole and what chances arise from this. How has digital collection work changed? What new issues arise from working with “born digital objects”, that is, objects which originate in digital form and which do not first have to be digitised? What usage possibilities open up here for museums? What role does the digital cross-linking of objects play for research? And what future prospects does digitality offer as a megatrend for museums? The Deutscher Museumsbund invites you to discuss this and other issues and to exchange ideas with the speakers and participants. You can find the full programme of the annual conference here. In the following, we would like to present some of the highlights from the programme.

The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s offerings at the DMB annual conference

The Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek is participating in the annual conference with two formats. At the virtual kick-off to the conference on Sunday, 2nd May 2021, from 2pm onwards, Astrid B. Müller, who is responsible for Press, Communication and Marketing at the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s Branch Office, will give an overview of the status quo and new developments. For the project »Nutzerorientierte Neustrukturierung der Deutschen Digitalen Bibliothek« (»User-oriented restructuring of the German Digital Library«), funded by the Federal Minister for Culture and Media within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR, and the around 2 million euros for digitisation projects connected with this, have met with an extraordinarily positive response from cultural and knowledge institutions. In addition, the platforms digiCULT and museum-digital will present their potential and future developments by means of their own user examples, will provide insights into tools and the cross-linking possibilities of digital collection work and make it clear how smaller museums in particular can profit from these offerings.

Furthermore, the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek will be offering an Info-Desk on Tuesday, 4th May 2021, from 1pm to 2.30 pm. Why is it worthwhile for museums to make digitised holdings available via the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s portal? Stephanie Götsch and Chiara Marchini from the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek’s Specialist Department Museum will provide information on participating in the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek and about support from the Specialist Department Museum and will be available for questions.

DDB Panorama
Panorama of the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek

Digital collection work: born digital objects, new usage possibilities and digital cross-linking

The programme of the annual conference is divided into seven sessions; each of these will cover thematic aspects and contain their own keynote speeches, opportunities for discussion and short contributions. On Monday, 3rd May 2021, the session “Born digital objects sammeln” (“Collecting born digital objects”) will examine the diverse challenges, with which museums are confronted when collecting born digitals, and present a wide variety of experiences and solution approaches. How do born digitals find their way into the collection? How are they used for exhibition work? What potential do they offer for communication work? What are the technical, conservational and legal challenges facing the museums? What is the relation between born digitals and analogue objects?

On Tuesday, 4th May 2021, the session “Digitale Nutzung weitergedacht” (“Further development of digital usage”) will illustrate the possibilities and chances of creative re-utilisation of digital copies and born digital objects by means of six short contributions. In addition to being used in museums, usage possibilities by external participants will also be presented here. How can digital cultural heritage be reproduced to open it up to visitors? What participatory approaches exist? How can citizen science be promoted by the re-utilisation of digital copies? What role does the creative industry play in using digital copies from museums?

With the virtual conference, the Deutscher Museumsbund would like to make access to the conference possible for a wide public, museum specialists from large and small establishments as well as interested persons.

Register now! Conference tickets are available from 55 euros – students and trainees can participate free of charge. You can find further information, the programme of the conference, an introduction to the speakers and much more on the conference website.