Encountering the muse: An exploration of the relationship between inspiration and information in the museum context

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 2019, 51 (4), pp. 1067 - 1076
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© The Author(s) 2018. How are information and inspiration connected? Answering this question can help information professionals facilitate the pathways to inspiration. Inspiration has previously been conceptualized as a goal or mode of information seeking, but this says little about the nature of inspiration or how it is experienced. In this study, we explore the connection between information and inspiration through a qualitative approach, using the museum as our setting; specifically, the researchers’ own visits to three separate museums. We use collaborative auto-hermeneutics, a methodology specifically suited to such a reflexive exploration, to document and analyze three individual museum visits. The following research questions were the main driver for this exploratory study: What is inspiration, and How are inspiration and information related? In answer, we present an inductive definition of inspiration as a kind of information, and we discuss how this definition fits in with the information science literature as well as offer some practical applications.
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