What Is the Status of Museums’ Digital Space in Austria?

A joint study with the Museumsbund Österreich


Some 800 registered museums were interviewed from Austria’s diverse multitude of museums, over half of which are run predominantly by volunteers. 67% of the museums contacted answered some 90 questions from 12 subject areas such as digital strategy, digital education, and the collection of born-digital objects: One of the study’s numerous findings shows that Austrian museums are very open to the digital age in principle. Even though the object is mostly the focus of considerations, the fields of education and curation are now unthinkable without digital aspects.

It is on this basis among other that he team at NOUS Wissensmanagement not only designs digital transformations but also researches them side by side with museums: the quantitative findings of the survey were accompanied by NOUS’s expertise in the form of qualitative interviews. Together with the Museumsbund Österreich we defined four prototypical Austrian museums:

The Austrian Gallery Belvedere (Vienna) represents both a federal and an art museum, the Universalmuseum Joanneum (Graz) a provincial and a multidisciplinary museum, the inatura – Erlebnis Naturschau Dornbirn an urban and a natural history museum, and finally the Museum Retz a regional and a predominantly volunteer-run museum.

The interviews reveal considerable disparity in the Austrian museum community when it comes to digital agendas. The conversations make it abundantly clear that digital transformation first and foremost requires investment: not only financial investment but also and above all investment in terms of media, visitor, and source analysis. In this regard, NOUS Wissensmanagement acts as a partner on every level thanks to the NOUS team’s implicit understanding of museums as an institution and of their unique challenges when it comes to imparting knowledge.

Wolfgang Schreiner, Gunther Reisinger, NOUS Wissensmanagement, Vienna

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