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Balancing preservation and interaction in the museum setting (2007

Directed by Dr. Patrick Lucas


"In this thesis the researcher documents the research, design, and evaluation process undertaken to answer the question - how does one balance interaction with and preservation of artifacts within the museum setting? Topics researched in pursuit of the answer to this question include material culture, theories of learning, and preservation. Material culture focuses on the interpretation of artifacts and aided the designer in developing the story each of Dolley Madison's artifacts told within the exhibit. The four theories of learning explored by the designer included stimulus-response, expository-didactic, discovery, and constructivist. These theories served as inspirations for developing an exhibit layout, with a focus on discovery and constructivist theories for the interactive experiences. Preservation theory coupled with knowledge of preservation needs of artifacts within museums assisted the researcher in developing safe environments to ensure the longevity of the artifacts. An evaluation process provided significant information to help assess the success of balancing interpretation and preservation needs. The compilation of this information provides a resource for those interested in learning about interactivity and preservation in the museum environment."

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College of Arts and Sciences
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