Journal article Open Access

Virtual Reality in Museums: Exploring the Experiences of Museum Professionals

Maria Shehade; Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert

The past few years have seen an increase in the use of virtual reality (VR) in museum environments in an attempt for museums to embrace technological innovations and adapt to the challenges of the digital era. While there are studies that examine the advantages of VR in museums and visitors’ experiences with it, there are no studies examining the experiences of museum professionals who are responsible for a museum’s objects and narratives. The aim of this paper is to explore the practices, experiences, and perceptions of museum professionals on the use of VR technology in museums, their perceived advantages and challenges of such technologies, and their vision for the future of technology in museums. The paper provides an in-depth analysis of interviews with museum professionals from a number of countries around the world who worked with particular VR projects in their own institutions. The ultimate aim is to offer a more critical and holistic examination and assessment of the use of VR in museums and provide suggestions for designing and developing VR projects in the future.

This work has been partly supported by the project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE – Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.
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