Heritage and Social Media explores how social media reframes our understanding and experience of heritage. Through the idea of ‘participatory culture’ the book begins to examine how social media can be brought to bear on the encounter with heritage and on the socially produced meanings and values that individuals and communities ascribe to it.

To highlight the specific changes produced by social media, the book is structured around three major themes: 

  • Social Practice. New ways of understanding and experiencing heritage are emerging as a result of novel social practices of collection, representation, and communication enabled and promoted by social media.
  • Public Formation. In the presence of widely available social technologies, peer-to-peer activities such as information and media sharing are rapidly gaining momentum, as they increasingly promote and legitimate a participatory culture in which individuals aggregate on the basis of common interests and affinities.
  • Sense of Place. As computing becomes more pervasive and digital networks extend our surroundings, social media and technologies support new ways to engage with the people, interpretations and values that pertain to a specific territorial setting.

Heritage and Social Media provides readers with a critical framework to understand how the participatory culture fostered by social media changes the way in which we experience and think of heritage. By introducing readers to how social media are theorized and used, particularly outside the institutional domain, the volume reveals through groundbreaking case studies the emerging heritage practices unique to social media. In doing so, the book unveils the new issues that are emerging from these practices and the new space for debate and critical argumentation that is required to illuminate what can be done in this burgeoning sector of heritage work.

chapter |10 pages


Reframing heritage in a participatory culture
ByElisa Giaccardi

part |76 pages

Social practice

chapter |17 pages

Collective Memory as Affirmation

People-centered cultural heritage in a digital age
ByNeil Silberman, Margaret Purser

chapter |26 pages

Socially Distributed Curation of the Bhopal Disaster

A case of grassroots heritage in the crisis context
BySophia B. Liu

chapter |13 pages

Museum of the Self and Digital Death

An emerging curatorial dilemma for digital heritage
ByStacey Pitsillides, Janis Jefferies, Martin Conreen

chapter |18 pages

Social Traces

Participation and the creation of shared heritage
ByLuigina Ciolfi

part |71 pages

Public formation

chapter |18 pages

Remembering Together

Social media and the formation of the historical present
ByRoger I. Simon

chapter |19 pages

Heritage Knowledge, Social Media and the Sustainability of the Intangible

ByDagny Stuedahl, Christina Mörtberg

chapter |19 pages

Connecting to Everyday Practices

Experiences from the Digital Natives exhibition
ByOle Sejer Iversen, Rachel Charlotte Smith

chapter |13 pages

The Rise of the ‘Media Museum'

Creating interactive cultural experiences through social media
ByAngelina Russo

part |80 pages

Sense of place

chapter |18 pages

Mosaics and Multiples

Online digital photography and the framing of heritage
ByRichard Coyne

chapter |18 pages

Mobile Ouija Boards

ByChris Speed

chapter |20 pages

Extending Connections between Land and People Digitally

Designing with rural Herero communities in Namibia
ByNicola J. Bidwell, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus

chapter |22 pages

Situating the Sociability of Interactive Museum Guides

ByRon Wakkary, Audrey Desjardins, Kevin Muise, Karen Tanenbaum, Marek Hatala

chapter |5 pages


Dialogue in the space between ethnography and heritage
ByPeter Wright