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Ticking the box? An investigation of visitor research in Irish museums and galleries post-recession through the lived experience of staff, 2015-2017

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posted on 2023-06-29, 10:26 authored by Fiona Byrne

This study investigates the lived experiences of Irish museum and gallery staff, and their professional relationship with visitor research which is a new demand on these museums and galleries. The study uncovers staff attitudes to, and perceptions of, visitor research. It identifies potential barriers to the integration of research processes and the impact this might have on the evidence base produced. It makes a number of suggestions as to how visitor research could be reimagined within the Irish museum and gallery. Successful integration of visitor research in these institutions is not a simple matter of advocating for it through policy, nor is it a matter of providing tools for staff to utilise. To truly embed these practices in the working lives of museum/gallery staff a holistic intervention is needed; one that is better aligned with current practice and culture. Additionally, for sustained and meaningful delivery of visitor research, a real investment in the human resources in these institutions is required. Such an intervention could move visitor research from being a process that is often hampered by work practices, labour structures and organisational culture, to being an inclusive process that feeds in and out of all these aspects of the organisation to build stronger, better informed institutions.

History

Faculty

  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree

  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Niamh NicGhabhann

Department or School

  • Irish World Academy of Music & Dance

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