Sharjah: Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) will host a virtual conference on May 18, coinciding with International Museum Day, to explore digitalization practises in museums and cultural institutions. Titled “The Role of Digitalizing Collections in Museums and Cultural Institutions towards the Sustainable Development of Our Communities,” the conference comprises three sessions focusing on critical aspects of digitization and preservation. SMA is also commemorating International Day by offering free admission to all its museums on May 18.
The conference will commence with a keynote address by Ms. Manal Ataya, the Director General of SMA.The event aims to examine the latest trends, technologies, and practises employed by cultural institutions in the Arab region and beyond to digitise and archive collections, promote sustainable practices, and engage audiences through digital platforms.
The first session, moderated by Ms. Hazelle Page, Collections Management Manager at SMA, will discuss new platforms and technologies used for digitizing collections and fostering sustainable practices in museums and cultural institutions. The session will cover topics such as blockchain technology for securing and tracking the provenance of digital objects, artificial intelligence and machine learning for automating digitization processes, and virtual and augmented reality for creating immersive visitor experiences.
Renowned speakers, including representatives from the Palestinian Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the ICCROM-Sharjah Regional Conservation Centre, will share case studies and address the impact of digital archives on accessing cultural heritage
The second session, titled “How are different institutions digitising and archiving collections of importance to the Arab region?” will feature presentations by industry experts who will share successful digitization projects, examine the influence of digital archives on cultural heritage access, and explore the challenges and opportunities associated with new platforms and technologies.
Concluding the conference, the session “Engaging audiences through digital platforms,” moderated by Dr. Gokce Okandan from the American University of Sharjah, will focus on utilising emerging technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, social media, and mobile apps to enhance visitor experiences, promote education, and drive engagement.