18 Pages

Emotional connections with the past

Exploring engagement with historical images from an online museum collection
WithWrigglesworth Tom, Watts Leon

This chapter argues that respecting the emotional impact of historical images is a key part of articulating designs to bridge communities. The spatiality of a collaborative or communicative environment such as a museum can be considered a separate concept from its sense of place. The physical space of the museum, the layout and geometric arrangements, allow for certain activities to occur. Online museum collections for the most part follow a familiar archive format. Digitised objects are searchable through keyword search or faceted filtering; the British Museum, Imperial War Museums and Science Museum are examples of this format. The chapter shows that the research was carried out in collaboration with the American Air Museum (AAM) which is located at IWM Duxford, England and part of the Imperial War Museums' family. AAM surveys have shown that there are many different types of user operating on the AAM website: historical researchers, enthusiasts, family historians, museum volunteers and casual visitors.