76th SAMA Annual Conference
Exhibitions of artefacts and records at museums will soon go digital through the application of new technologies. This was one of the wide ranges of presentations discussed at the 76th SAMA National Conference in Paarl. The annual conference was hosted by the South African Museums Association and its partners from 30 October to 1 November 2012.
The conference focused mainly on the following sub-themes around museums– Communities in Flux, Heritage Sector, Accreditation, Standards and Training, New Technologies, Green Revolution and Education for the Future.
Mr Andrew Hall, Director of Museums, Heritage and Geographical Names Services, said through utilising the digital dimension more people will visit the museums and it would create educational opportunities. “This would give visitors a better idea of what they want to experience at museums, because now they will have access to the content and images on the internet,” Hall said.
The International Museum Day theme for 2012, “Museums in a Changing World”, was the main thread running through the conference. The organisers therefore recommended that papers and presentations focus on change. This theme recognises that museums and other heritage institutions are faced with interpreting, and existing, in a field that is becoming increasingly fluid. While each institution may have a unique set of goals, interests and audiences, the necessity to thrive in the face of change applies to all museums, large and small.
Hall is confident that the introduction of the new method would boost local tourism, and would enhance education at schools by bringing learners closer to the role of museums in our society.