One Way to Holland: Migrant Heritage and Social Media

Randi Lorenz Marselis, Laura Maria Schütze

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Museums in many parts of the world are challenged by increased diversity within the populations that make up their potential audiences, and many museums of cultural history now acknowledge the culture of ethnic minority groups as an important subject in multiethnic societies. A central issue in these museum practices is the question of how to collaborate with source communities, understood as “groups in the past when artifacts were collected, as well as their descendants today” (Peers & Brown, 2003, p. 2). Collaboration with source communities does not adhere only to “old” collections in ethnographic museums, but is also relevant to ongoing collection practices. An important theme in relation to source communities is ownership and repatriation of cultural objects. Furthermore, working with source communities implies a two-way information process through which groups are given access to memory materials and the expertise of museum staff but are at the same time recognized as able to contribute with valuable perspectives on their own culture (Peers & Brown, 2003, p. 1). This chapter examines how the Tropenmuseum in the Netherlands, one of Europe’s largest ethnographic museums, has used Facebook, Twitter, Flickr as well as the museum’s blog to reach migrant communities in order to collect and share information and stories related to photographs of postcolonial migrants. Through combining these different social media with promotion of the related offline photo exhibition in print media, the museum connected to individuals within the relevant source communities, who were able to help unfold the stories behind the photographs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMuseum Communication and Social Media : The Connected Museum
EditorsKirsten Drotner, Kim Christian Schrøder
Place of PublicationNew York and London
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-83318-9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
SeriesRoutledge Research in Museum Studies

Cite this