I’ve been working in the fields of cultural heritage and education for more than thirty years, currently engaged in managing a project to put substantial subsets of cultural collections images and information online.
To some degree I have always used digital tools in my work, largely for recording, analysing and sharing data. At the start of my career in the 1980s I catalogued archaeological finds on DOS-based computers and around 1990 undertook archaeological surveying using a Total Station Theodolite with Computer Aided Design Software (CAD) to process the data. The latter was very new and very exciting to use at the time.
All these years later, the essentials of cataloguing museum collections have not changed, but the task is huge, specialised cataloguing is time consuming and the cost of creating digital records and images for cultural collections is great. Some of my contemporaries working in cultural heritage are wary of the impact of computers on their profession and their role, many are not comfortable with technology but most want to use whatever tools are effective in facilitating access by the public to cultural heritage.
We live in a digital age and it is not desirable, even if it were possible, to avoid technology so I choose to embrace it (to a point)! It’s going to take me longer, I may not ‘get it’ first time, I may have to repeat the same exercise over, but in the end I hope that I will at least learn to negotiate the plethora of options that exist and get better at selecting some for further exploration and rejecting others based on knowledge rather than because of too much choice.