What’s Emerging in the Field?

Essays from the MCN 2020 VIRTUAL Scholarship Program Recipients

For more than fifty years, the Museum Computer Network (MCN) has been supporting professionals working to transform the way cultural organizations reach, engage, and educate audiences using digital technologies and new media. The MCN 2020 VIRTUAL conference, “Sustainability: Preserve/Progress,” explored how museums and museum professionals are working today with the tension between transformation and longevity. Sessions explored the varied facets of sustainability including technological, financial, environmental, cultural, social, and even personal. In response, ten emerging professionals in the field—recipients of the MCN Scholarship Program award—have written here about the state of museum technology and sustainability in 2020. Included are essays, reflections, and case studies. The topics explore areas as diverse as digital literacy, citizen science, Indigenous materials and authority, film conservation, storytelling traditions, and online learning.



  • Teaching Digital Literacy in UK Museum Studies Programmes — Maria Paula Arias
  • The Art of Gathering Online: Glam Educators’ Self-Efficacy in the Age of Coronavirus — Emma C. Cantrell
  • The Modernization of Museum Tools: Designing Technology with Sustainability in Mind — Emily Crum
  • Citizen Science Can Improve Visitor Experiences and Research Outcomes in Museums and Cultural Institutions — Alexis Garretson
  • Perspective: In the Time of COVID-19 | Still Black See — kYmberly Keeton
  • A Theoretical Proposition for Art + Wellness in the Virtual Realm — Houghton Kinsman
  • Open Access Mandates and Indigenous Materials: Ways to Ethically Collaborate — Dana Reijerkerk
  • Reviving the Nineteenth Century 68mm Films with the Latest Digital Technologies — Paulina Reizi
  • Museums as Vehicles for Storytelling: A Survey of Methods and the Potential for Online Collections — Julia Sager
  • Informal Online Learning Spaces for Children in Vulnerable Communities — Lucia Taeubler

MCN would like to thank the Kress Foundation for making the MCN 2020 Scholarship Program possible. Additional thanks to Elizabeth Bollwerk and Andrea Ledesma for their support in reviewing the papers, Donna Linden for editing the essays, and Greg Albers for guiding us through the publication process.

This publication was created using Quire™, a multiformat publishing tool owned by the J. Paul Getty Trust.