Going to a museum in Nigeria and all over the world has not been easy in the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and restrictions in place.

Shorter opening hours and fear of a second wave of the virus has reduced the number of visitors and also led to the closure of museums.

However, as museum doors have closed or gradually opening, they have looked and explored other ways to welcome visitors and that is where Digital museum comes in. But first, what is a Digital museum?

What is Digital Museum

According to IGI Global ‘Digital museum is a museum exhibition platform that utilizes computer and information technology, on which cultural relics and historical collections can be preserved and display in digital format.’

As with mortal and brick museums, a digital or virtual museum can be designed around specific objects (such as Art museum and can conduct online exhibitions created from primary or secondary resources).

Digital museums can also perform as the digital footprint of a physical museum or can also act independently while maintaining the requirements outlined by the “international council of museums (ICOM)”.

ICOM define the key attributes of a museum as “being committed to public access, information sharing and researching and preserving historical materials, arts or knowledge for future use.

It must be noted that Digital museum is also known as virtual museum, cyber museum, online museum, web museum, electronic museum etc.

However, these forms of museum are fundamentally different from a library or archive. Typical example of a digital museum is the “internet museum” – a Swedish digital museum opened in 2014, and which is dedicated to spreading of knowledge about Swedish history around the world.

The Connection Between Digital Museum and Senaraba.

Digital museum aims to transfer past knowledge from the past to the future generations, while Senaraba is about giving voice to the grassroots to share their own creativity and knowledge with the world.

It is safe to say that both: Digital museum and Senaraba aim to achieve one thing, sharing of knowledge using Digital means.

Senaraba is an indigenous practice dedicated to the idea of giving people at the grassroots an opportunity to share their wisdom, culture, assets and the solutions they have been creating (but barely recognized) to be seen and heard by the world using online platforms.

In short, Senaraba with its motto (future of learning and sharing) is the perfect example of a cultural bank and digital museum combined together, as it is mainly involved in research, creation, recording, compiling and dissemination of this useful but often unheard knowledge from the grassroots.

Just like a museum (digital or traditional) is dedicated to preserving historical materials. Senaraba is an innovative physical-cum-virtual project dedicated to preserving and showcasing knowledge from the rural areas using indigenous languages.

Benefits of Senaraba and Digital museum

  • Showcasing places, culture and knowledge lost to time
  • Exploring destinations and hard-to-reach communities in a glance or in details
  • Blend education with entertainment (this make assimilation easy for the students)
  • Location and time are no longer a barrier to learning and sharing
  • Featuring the use of indigenous languages, to preserve the heritage and wisdom of communities

Imagine, that without visiting a community in Africa (in any of the countries), yet you are able to do a deep dive into the culture, people, trade, data, amazing stories of resources, assets, solutions and wisdom that abounds there.

Welcome to Senaraba! – Let’s create and share.

Prikkle Academy…inspiring community builders.

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Written by Ibiwumi Otunola (Prikkle Academy Documentarian).