Dr Alexandre Vanautgaerden

Scientific Field
October, 2020 - October, 2021

LE STUDIUM / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow


Class of Letters and Moral and Political Sciences, Royal Academy of Belgium - BE 

In residence at

Centre for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance (CESR)  / CNRS, University of Tours - FR

Host scientist

Prof. Benoist Pierre 


Museion. From space to place : rebuilding memory institutions

This research project is at the crossroads of museography, digital humanities, and library science. It aims to analyze the transformation of physical areas in heritage spaces (museums, libraries, archives) consequent to the development of digital humanities. Until the present time, research in museography and library science has taken parallel paths that rarely converge. However, today museums, libraries and archives are obliged to rethink their public spaces in light of the fact that new practices of their often identical publics, navigate into virtual worlds generated by the digital revolution.

For some twenty years, museums, libraries and archives have been forced to reconsider the way they function. In a first stage, they developed, in parallel with the collections and spaces they managed, digital databases as if they were building physical architectures. In many cases, these virtual collections only mirrored of the physical collections, but they could not communicate with each other. Moreover, and this was a significant disadvantage, virtual collections unconnected in their own silos, were unable to exchange their data. Fortunately, over the past decade, new digital programmes based on the interoperability of texts and images have emerged.

Interaction design is now part of museum scenography, and the user experience becomes one of the fundamental data of digital projects designed by museums or libraries.

The crucial question today is how to design and develop these new heritage spaces by offering a real dialogue between the physical collections and the digital humanities projects that are developed from them. Our research project aims to take stock of the research carried out in innovative places in order to propose new ways of developing heritage spaces in line with the current of the public. Six geographical areas will be considered (France, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Denmark, and Switzerland).

Events organised by this fellow