Cultural-based digital archive approach to enrich student users’ curriculum interpretation and worldview


  • Yee Lin Elaine Yuen Kent State University
  • Catherine Amoroso Leslie Kent State University



Cultural-based archive, Museum experiences, Educational engagement, Cultural preservation


In the 21st century, digitalization is essential to optimize preservation and conservation of museum artifacts.  Digital archives provide critical.extension value and relevant information resources that enrich users' cultural knowledge and connection through object analysis.  This study explores the potential of HistoryPin, a free online application for cultural storytelling, to expand student users’ worldview concept and interaction with museum artifacts through a series of curated collections as a learning and engagement tool. 

A collaboration between Kent State University Museum and the School of Fashion’s Historic Textiles course in Spring 2022, this case study identified cultural artifacts including textiles, costumes, and related accessories to illustrate and support course topics. Artifacts representing a range of geographic areas were selected, digitized, and presented with images in different views, cultural and historical information, and linked data in the virtual tour setting of HistoryPin. Students from both online and in-person sections experienced a virtual exhibition of artifacts, which reinforced and extended class content for further interpretation and engagement. 

Advanced interactive technologies, such as comments, favorites, and thought/image sharing on different social media, from HistoryPin allowed students to reflect on various perspectives related to cultural objects. After each section of the course, researchers gathered student users’ interactive comments shared on HistoryPin. A content analysis approach of emergent themes revealed the impact and contributions of museum artifacts. Moreover, a targeted survey provided sub-analyses on the cultural-based digital archive approach which informed an overall assessment of the impact in enriching student users’ virtual museum experience.

Author Biography

Catherine Amoroso Leslie, Kent State University

Dr. Catherine Amoroso Leslie teaches, researches and writes on fashion business and education, both past and present.  A Professor in the School of Fashion at Kent State University, Catherine offers courses in History of Costume, Historic Textiles, and Fashion Forecasting among others.  Dr. Leslie has a B.A. from Denison University.  She received a Masters degree in Apparel and Textiles with a minor in History from Colorado State University, where she worked in the Historic Costume and Textiles Collection and learned first-hand about the importance of objects in telling the story of history.  Her thesis, “Artifacts in the classroom: Impact on student learning” demonstrated the impact of costume and textile collections in fashion studies.  Catherine went on to earn her Ph.D. in Textiles and Clothing from The Ohio State University.  She is a member of the Costume Society of America’s Scholars’ Roundtable (2007) and former President of the Midwest Region.






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