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The Essential Museum: Turning Museums into Customized Spaces

The paper “The Essential Museum” was written in 2006, and is printed in Civilizing the Museum;The Collected Writings of Elaine Heumann Gurian.  It was delivered at the Museums Aotearoa Conference in Hawke’s Bay Museum New Zealand, 19 April 2006.

This is a paper that explores the dynamics of individualized learning and the possibility that personalized customized exploration will soon be possible in museums by making the objects and all associated information available in a format that the visitor can easily use. 

The paper also looks at the current organization of the shopping mall and the library and speculates how those two models can be helpful in making museums more personally helpful.