Learning in the history museum: designing exhibit labels that engage visitors
University of New Brunswick
This qualitative study examined the ways that exhibit labels influence the process of engagement at a history museum. New labels were designed for an existing exhibit at a local museum. Volunteers were invited to visit and share their experience in a post-visit survey and interviews. The results suggest that labels can significantly influence visitor engagement, by initiating, extending, transforming, interrupting, or severing connections with display objects; that prior museum experience is a determining factor in museum visitors’ response to labels; and that to understand engagement in the museum, it is necessary to interact with visitors rather than simply observing them.