Small museums thinking ‘BIG’ – Part One.

Thinking ‘Big’ but being ‘Small.’



Hi. Hope you’re day has been good. Mine has, I’ve been doing some thinking about small museums. My thinking has lead me to thinking about small museums and their approach to audiences.

Have a look at this place.

Do you think that this museum is ‘big’ in size? Like the Smithsonian? Well it’s not it’s small (they restrict visitor numbers because of the size of the museum). But their approach on their website makes it seem bigger than it is. 

What do I mean when I say a ‘BIG’ approach? I mean how small museums can use their resources (free and paid for) to attract audience members.

 A ‘BIG’ approach would be utilizing their social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc.) to their fullest advantage. Advertising exhibitions and events, asking for feedback, incorporating people’s reactions to events and exhibitions. 




This is taken from the Victoria & Albert’s Facebook page. Here it clearly shows an event advertised, a short course based on a current exhibition as well as paintings and other events asking for feedback.  

This I would call a ‘BIG’ approach.  The ‘BIG’ approach being the use of a (free) social media site advertising various things the museum has to offer. In turn this increases audience members. Nearly everyone uses Facebook and using this social media site; this site should be utilized by small museums.

More and more often there is research and discussion within the Museum & Heritage World of how museum’s should be using social media. This would be included within the ‘BIG’ approach. I have seen and experienced museums/heritage sites that do use social media effectively gain audience members. On the other had I have also seen social media not used effectively enough.

In my next installment of ‘Small Museums thinking BIG,’ I shall talk about the use of Twitter within museums. I shall also talk about a small, local, volunteer run Museum in Howth, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. I will talk about their approach to social media and digitization.

I shall also talk about ‘digital mindset’ within cultural institutions. I will talk about how small organisations with little resources are changing their view of the ‘digital mindset’

For now I leave you with the website of the museum I will be talking about in my next post. It has the best name for a Museum ever:
The Hurdy Gurdy Museum.


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