Museum Mission & Purpose
About the Museum

The Virtual Museum Project is working to creating a "museum" that collects and exhibits the histories of information technology at the University of Michigan. The Museum exists to inspire students, faculty, staff and IT professionals to continue developing empowering technologies, despite the risks and uncertainties of working at the threshold of knowledge.

The Virtual Museum will present stories from the history of information technology at Michigan in which the University has shown unique strength, and which demonstrate the impact of technological innovation within the IT community both nationally and internationally. Rather than providing a comprehensive survey of the history of IT, it will offer exhibits devoted to specific events and subject areas, organized into broad themes.

The Museum objectives are:

Exhibit Structure

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Diagram of the 3 main Content Modules.

Collections Policy

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How stories are accessioned into the Museum collection


  • University community
  • Partner Universities
  • Alumni
  • Prospective Students
  • Former IT Developers


What is Virtual?
About the Project
Research & Downloads

We have taken an approach to the idea of virtual which we hope will introduce new thinking into existing frameworks for the museum online.

Virtual exhibits will have the following attributes:

  • Space—Defined virtually by experience united by themes.
  • Interaction—Creating visitors, not just viewers.
  • Identity—Common identifiers to unite experiences.
  • Access—Virtual strategies with direct relevance to the exhibit theme.



The Virtual Museum Project began as a Museum Studies Program collaboration at the University of Michigan. Two graduate students, Alice Goff and Jennifer Beyer were given the task of creating a "virtual exhibit" focused on the history of IT at Michigan. But project's sponsor, John King, Vice Provost of Academic Information allowed Jennifer and Alice to define on what exactly a "virtual museum" should be.

The result of the initial collaboration was a proposal describing the Virtual Museum as a conceptual space, combing the best of the "virtual" with te best of the "museum." Further research began in May of 2008 and has continues with support of the Provost's Office.



Full Project Proposal

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Fully describes the research behind the project.

Project Presentations

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Various presentations given on the project, including a talk delivered at the Midwest Museums Association Annual Conference (2008).

Survey of Virtual Museums

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Many museums have attempted to create a virtual presence following several standard models.

Library & Archive Collections

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Sources related to Virtual Museum content & research


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