My dream is one online database to rule them all. Not one for natural history here, one for Europeana national museums there, medium sized art galleries with Spanish art somewhere else. My dream is for Europeana to be the Google or Wikipedia for cultural heritage across Europe. One that people don’t even think about using they just use it.
My dream relates to the development of optimal procedures to involve the public in giving meaning to cultural heritage objects, not only on a semantic level, but also on the level of conditions that need to be fulfilled to better engage with art. I believe there is a lot of potential in developing ‘folksonomy’ projects, building on the perspectives of the citizen. It builds on the idea that we generate better and more advanced ideas for tagging and classifying particular object, or at least that we generate different layers of meaning. If we could be sensitive to the needs of different target groups (could be age, could be disability, ethnic background or gender) it would make art and cultural heritage more accessible. If we can engage people online, then we might be able to trigger them to actually go and find out what a particular object looks, smells and feels like in a physical museum environment. We need to think about how digital environments position themselves worldwide and how we can preserve or redraw the social-cultural, educational, entertaining and community building role of museum environments.