From Analogue to Digital and Back Again: Institutional Dynamics of Heritage Innovation

B. van Heur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article traces the emergence of a digital imperative - the belief in the necessity of digitising cultural expressions - in a particular heritage project in the Dutch city of Maastricht. The main reason for doing so is to contribute to the growing body of literature on digital cultural heritage, a perspective that pays analytical attention to the organisational and institutional dynamics of heritage innovation. Such a perspective complicates the popular assumption that digitisation will be beneficial to participation and instead puts forward - by drawing on institutional theory and the sociology of expectations - a less technology-centric and more contextual understanding of digital heritage. The conclusion highlights the potential of institutional analysis and the sociology of expectations for digital heritage studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-416
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • digital heritage
  • expectations
  • innovation
  • institutions
  • organisations
  • participation

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