Technology and Museums

Gary and De De Cup are back from their travels, and listening to some great music at the annual New Orleans Jazzfest. Along the way, this year we called in to Washington DC and spent some quality time at a couple of the world’s great museums.

First up is the Newseum, a museum dedicated to the processes of gathering and the dissemination of the news. If ever there’s something that just screams technology, the Newseum and the processes it represents is it.Even from the earliest days of news gathering, technology and the news have been highly interdependent. And as we progress into the 21st century, this is even more the case.

And then there’s the United States Holocaust Museum. This is a place where the past is seriously confronted. My parents are survivors, as are many other branches of my family. Even more of them did not survive, and while our visit here was very much personal, the use of technology here in bringing exhibits and documents to visitors is very much in evidence.

In talking with museum officials, we learned that, for instance, they have 250 million documents – mostly scanned image files – relating to 19 million people. As an IT professional, those numbers make my heart skip a beat; the technology needed to drive such a system requires some serious horsepower, and then there’s the storage needs of it all.

This is serious, and important, stuff. We hope that you enjoy this week’s podcast..