Museums Without Walls

A temporal analysis of virtual exhibitions in GLAM institutions


  • Freyja Catton
  • Laura Smith



virtual exhibitions, GLAM institutions, temporal analysis, technology


The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibilities of virtual exhibitions (VEs) for GLAM institutions. While VEs continue to be secondary to physical exhibitions, an effective VE uses technology to engage viewers and present opportunities for interactivity to support further learning and discovery of collection materials. Cultural heritage organizations can use VEs to make the “digital version of a cultural artefact accessible even when the physical access is restricted” and leads GLAM institutions and LIS scholars to reflect on how “users receive and interact with information in a virtual world” (Caggianese et al., 2018, p.625). With the aid of easily accessible additional information, this modern form of presentation may support a deeper level of understanding than a user can experience by viewing a traditional physical exhibition, and may enhance their overall viewing experience. Despite the excitement and opportunities afforded by VR, exhibitions remain accessible for visitors without VR equipment via browsers or web-page based exhibitions. As the “virtual exhibition is a concept that has acquired new meanings along with the evolution of modern information and communication technologies,” we look forward to seeing how GLAM institutions continue to shape the user experience (Ciurea & Filip, 2016, p.28).  Cultural organizations will continue to develop and combine their partnerships, financial and staff resources, content, and visitor interests to build more VE structures that fit both their collections and their community.




How to Cite

Catton, F., & Smith, L. (2021). Museums Without Walls: A temporal analysis of virtual exhibitions in GLAM institutions. Pathfinder: A Canadian Journal for Information Science Students and Early Career Professionals, 2(2), 72–85.



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