Open Hardware Belongs in Your Museum

Miriam Langer, New Mexico Highlands University, USA, Jason Alderman, Cloud Chamber / Balboa Park Online Collaborative, USA

Published paper: Open hardware belongs in your museum

What is open source hardware? Should my museum should use it? What does the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) certification mean, and how can it apply to museums?

This paper will address an observed need for awareness and understanding of the role open hardware can play in museums and cultural organizations. Our mission, as members of OSHWA, is to develop shared, open source hardware that is useful for museum exhibits, educational outreach, makerspaces, and an overall more inclusive visitor experience. While the language of open source software has become more familiar in recent years, open hardware is a newer concept, and its value can be difficult to comprehend. This paper will begin to clarify how open hardware is an option worth considering, although at this early stage not always the easiest choice. Learn how your museum can join the small, but growing, movement toward open source hardware.