School of Creative


BA(Hons) Arts Management

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The lasting impact of COVID-19 on the digitalisation of museums

Museums and galleries are rapidly digitalising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With existing restrictions for the safety of everyone in an earnestly digitalising society, more museum programmes are using digital technologies and platforms. This thesis aims to find out how the digitalisation of museums and their programmes have impacted the way museums are run, specifically focusing on the reach, accessibility, scope, size, and quality of both museums and its programmes.

To investigate the impact of digitalisation, case studies of two museums, the National Gallery Singapore and Victoria & Albert Museum, were conducted. The scope of research is limited to April 2020 to April 2021, the peak of the pandemic and the period in which most museums and galleries faced closures. A document analysis was conducted to gain contextual knowledge about museums and their programmes. To obtain information beyond the available documents, interviews of museum personnel from both museums were conducted.

Cross-case analysis was conducted with the primary and secondary data, and synthesised into the following results: firstly, digitalisation of museums increased the diversity of collaborators in museums and helped them to engage a more geographically-diverse audience. Secondly, museums saw the need to create and improve their digital content offerings to enhance the accessibility of their material to audiences. Finally, digitalisation has expanded both the quantity and quality of their programmes through the number of audiences attending, programmes organised and changes in the attitudes and outlook of museum managers.

Keywords: digitalisation, museology, COVID-19, accessibility, museum programming, museum management

Subtopics: geographical reach of museums, accessibility of intellectual materials in museums, scope, size and quality of museum programmes.

Maria Hanika Velasco Villamor

Maria Hanika Velasco Villamor

Hanika aims to be an arts manager who presents creative ideas through different means and considers the audience's point of view to ensure that every art experience is unique and memorable. With her interest in marketing, she hopes to contribute to the development and bridging of art and design with the world.

Work experience

2019 – 2021
The Curve Cult
Designer & social media manager

Arts with Benefits podcast
Digital marketing & project manager