Digital Humanities
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Inquiries into culture, meaning, and human value meet emerging technologies and cutting-edge skills at Pratt Institute's School of Information

Digital Humanities: National Museum of Rio de Janeiro Tragedy

National Museum of Rio de Janeiro prior to the fire.
National Museum of Rio de Janeiro prior to the fire.


Digital humanities in museum settings is a crucial area to be explored and applied because it can be the determining factor between saving history and losing it forever.

The tragedy that happened in the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, where a devastating fire destroyed the museum completely and with that over 20 million unique artifacts were erased from history.

The museum didn’t have a digital archive, it didn’t rely on the technology, which made it a challenge to try to recover its identity through pictures and videos taken from people from all around the world, in a Wikipedia campaign to gather data from people and create a digital file.

If digital humanities were taken under consideration and the museum had a digital archive, it would have been a historical moment for digital humanities in museums and not just an immense tragedy.

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