Due to the corona crisis, almost all cultural heritage institutions have seen a huge decline in their visitor numbers. This concerns museums as well as galleries, archives, and libraries. How do we cope with this issue? How have others done, or tried?

It sometimes seems as if every institution is re-inventing the wheel. Do people learn from each other or do they panic and try everything? Is there an exchange of experiences between heritage institutions? Success stories are shared enthusiastically on social media, but the results are often disappointing in the long term. Moreover, little is heard about what did not work. Visiting heritage institutions via online media is very well possible for the public that is already acquainted with this way of accessing information. But what about the elderly or people with less technical skills or opportunities? Or with no economical possibilities? How inclusive are these developments? And what about the audience that failed to show sufficient interest and initiative to visit?

The CRISP project

CRISP extensively researches initiatives in the cultural heritage sector focusing on good practice. This research takes place completely using online sources, but we will also interview those responsible – users, people within the industry, and political stakeholders. Also, an extensive survey among users and non-users will be carried out; we are interested as much in practices that don’t work as in those that do, as both will teach us important lessons going forward. We are especially – but by no means exclusively – interested in the experiences of adults that are facing economic, social, or health issues. Using four training activities, we will discuss the outcome of our investigations and prepare conclusions.

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Header images by Nick Bolton, John Cameron, Keith Champaco, Anna Gru, Heather Morse, Noah, Isaac Quesada, and Serge Le Strat on Unsplash.