Interpretive Materials

   Endangered large

Text, graphics, videos, and other content that is used in gallery and exhibition spaces to guide audiences and provide learning experiences.

Digital Species: Museum and Gallery, Social Media

New Rescoped Entry

Consensus Decision

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within five years, detailed assessment within three years.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve | Inevitability

It would require a small effort to preserve materials in this group, requiring the application of proven tools and techniques.


These may include explanatory text and diagrams. This type of content typically sits alongside objects being exhibited. This information may also be used in other forms of digital public engagement, including within websites and social media.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Poor or no documentation; lack of repository and preservation infrastructure; external dependencies; poor storage; significant volumes or diversity of data; digital content being left unmanaged with Exhibitions teams (e.g. not going through any Records Management, Recordkeeping, being passed to the archives, or having preservation even considered).

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Strong documentation; preservation capability; good recordkeeping principles, practices, and management in place; strong repository and preservation technical infrastructure; well-developed migration pathways.

2023 Review

This entry was added in 2019 under ‘Digital Materials in Museums and Galleries’ and previously rescoped in 2021 to ‘Supporting Digital Materials for Museums and Galleries’.

The 2023 Bit List Council superseded the entry, splitting it into six discrete entries as the scope of the single entry was too broad to provide the guidance needed. The recommendation to break this entry down was also made by the 2021 Jury, as the types of digital collections content in museums can be vast and offer particular risks in museum and gallery contexts. This entry was added to focus on risks tied to interpretive materials in museums and galleries. These materials may be tailored to various audience demographics and may take into account a variety of learning styles. These materials can also provide significant insight into how display and interpretation of objects has changed over time. While some interpretive materials may be text or still image based, others may be more technically complex as they may be time-based (e.g. video) or even a complex digital object in its own right.

Additional Comments

Interpretive outputs through websites may have reduced risk as web outputs if captured as part of national web archiving initiatives.

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