The evolution of the internet and devices allowing access to it indicate that users trend toward networking and interconnectivity in their daily lives. Museums have started to tread into this territory—that is, crafting, managing, and maintaining an effective internet presence and ancillary content tools—on their own. However, many museums still rely upon the earliest types of education and interpretation tools, such as audio tours and recordings that address content from one collection. Moving beyond a single institution’s holdings, a shared database of museum content including photos of artifacts and objects, historic documents, and videos would allow users to examine pieces they enjoy and to find similar works at other locations. A single application providing museum collection capabilities and visitor access would benefit both sides. To support this claim, this thesis first provides a literature review of application use in museums that is supplemented by statistics of visitor use of museum mobile offerings. This historical overview yields a list of needs, interests, and obstacles to such an interconnective model. The third section constitutes the building blocks of such a model: database design, application design, and a web-accessible mirror site which are visualized in the prototyped content. The fourth section hypothesizes the future and expected impact of a shared network topology.

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Museum Studies (BS)


Juilee Decker

Advisor/Committee Member

Larry Kiser


RIT – Main Campus