doctoral research is investigating whether there is a change in the information
conveyed by an object that is dependent on the context in which that object is
set. It is specifically focussing on the objects in museums.
have three main ways of displaying their objects:
in glass cases, with the visitor as passive observer of an aesthetic context
in a gallery where visitors are actively encouraged to interact with the object in some way;
in a gallery, where objects are set out so as provide an overall experience of a particular subject or theme.
objects may be placed in a variety of contexts each of which leads the visitor
through a slightly different information seeking and retrieval process.
research will therefore try to answer the following questions:
Does the context within which an object is set affect the information the object conveys?
Do the curator’s notes which are placed with the object affect the information that the object conveys?
Is there a difference in the information conveyed by similar objects set in their original context and those in a more artificial context? (For example, objects in a local parish church and in more tourist-orientated place of worship such as a cathedral)
Does context have any bearing on what objects are displayed within that context? (For example, would an art gallery display a reproduction of a well-known work if displaying the original were economically unviable or impractical for other reasons)
Does context effect the information seeking and retrieval process? If so, how?
Do You Want To Participate?
If you would like to participate in this research by looking at some of the objects used in this research and then answering a few questions, then click below: