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Changes in Cultural Consumption: Ethnographic Collections in Wikipedia

Trilce Navarrete () and Karol Borowiecki ()

Economic Papers from Trinity College Dublin, Economics Department

Abstract: Visits to museums have been studied as hedonic and utilitarian forms of cultural consumption, though limited attention has been given to the access of museum collections online. We perform a unique historic analysis of the visibility of collections in a museum of ethnographic collections and compare 100 years of onsite visits to 5 years online visits. We find two main results: first, access to collections increased substantially online. From a selection of objects available both onsite and online, access grew from an average of 156,000 onsite visitors per year to over 1.5 million views online per year. Onsite, 15.5 million people visited the museum in a spam of a century while online, 7.9 million people viewed collections in only the last 5 years. Second, we find a difference in consumer preference for type of object, favouring 3D onsite and 2D online (photographs of objects, particularly when showing them being used). Results support understanding of online heritage consumption and emerging dynamics, particularly outside of an institutional environment, such as Wikipedia.

Keywords: Heritage consumption; Museums; Digital heritage; Access; Exhibition history; Wikipedia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L31 D12 O35 N30 Z11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul and nep-mkt
Date: 2016-11
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Working Paper: Change in access after digitization: Ethnographic collections in Wikipedia (2015) Downloads
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