1st Edition

Digital Museums in the Global South A Framework for Sustainable and Culturally Appropriate Digital Transformation

By Emma Duester Copyright 2025
    190 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on digital museums in the context of Vietnam and contributes to global discussions on the development of digital museum offerings needed to meet audience demands, requirements for sustainable digitization methods for cultural heritage, demands for the development of intellectual property protection for the digital environment, and ways that national governments can support digital museums.

    Duester provides insight into museums in part of the Global South, where infrastructure funding, technical, and human resource constraints impact the take up and display of digital content. With on-the-ground research from three Vietnamese museums, Duester argues for a museum framework that is sustainable, ethical, and culturally-appropriate. The Vietnamese government’s strategy for digitalization of culture, heritage, and museums is assessed, and the book includes a list of recommendations on sustainable digitization methods, intellectual property protection measures for the digital environment, management, phygital business models, and new digital revenue streams.

    The volume will benefit scholars involved in the cultural and creative industries, as well as museum professionals and cultural policymakers who will value the book’s assessment of international standards, treaties, and conventions on copyright law and how they apply to museums, as well as the recommendations listed above.


    List of Figures



    Introducing Museums in Digital Transition

    Museums in Digital Transition

    Futureproofing the Museum Sector                                                            

    Digital Transformation in the Global South                                               

    Conceptualising the ‘Digital Museum’

    Chapter Outline


    Chapter 1: Sustainable and culturally-appropriate creation of digital museums


    The Co-designed Digitization Project

    The Museums and Artefacts

    Step-by-Step Digitization, Digital Display, and Online Publication Process

    Chapter Summary


    Chapter 2: Understanding audiences’ needs for digital experiences


    Audience-centered developments in Museum Digital Offerings

    Audience’s Reflections on their Most Memorable Digital Experiences at Vietnamese Museums

    Audiences’ Reflections on Museums’ Uses of digital technologies and Suggestions for Improvements

    Chapter Summary


    Chapter 3: Government Support for Digital Transformation at Museums


    Culture Policy and Arts Management Globally

    Vietnam Government Support for culture policy, museum management, and digital transformation

    Chapter Summary


    Chapter 4: Understanding the global legal landscape for Intellectual Property Protection in the Digital Environment


    Implications of Vietnam Joining the global digital transformation and ways of mitigating divides

    Global Legal Landscape on Rights, Protection, and Exceptions for Museums in the Digital Environment

    Digital Protection Measures for Museums to Implement

    Chapter Summary


    Conclusions and Recommendations for Transforming and Maintaining Digital Museums

    Futureproofing Future Digital Museums Must Reflect Local Needs, Culture, and Context

    Updates on Existing Scholarship

    Specific Needs for Digital Transformation at Museums in Vietnam

    Recommendations for Creating, Protecting, and Maintaining Digital Museums in Vietnam




    Emma Duester is an Associate professor at the USC-SJTU Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. She has published widely on the culture sector, mobilities, transnational communication, and digitization of culture in Europe, Vietnam, and China. This book is the result of a funded research project at RMIT University Vietnam, carried out between 2020 and 2023.