A paper has just been published as part of the Museums and the Web 2007 conference in San Francisco this next week:
A Second Life for Your Museum: 3D Multi-User Virtual Environments and Museums
Richard Urban, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Paul Marty, Florida State University; and Michael Twidale, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
The paper discusses the technical issues related to using Second Life for this type of project, and also lists a few virtual museums that already exist in Second Life (including one of my favorites, the International Space Museum). Here’s the abstract for the paper:
The paper gives an overview of some of the museum-like activities currently being undertaken in Second Life. Current development is mainly in the hands of pioneers, often interested amateurs engaging in serious leisure to create spaces enabling them to share their interests with others. These efforts are explored in this paper through a systematic analysis of museum visits and a qualitative analysis of interviews with designers and developers of museums in Second Life. Findings identified include the impact of the current technology on what is created, and the importance of interaction-centric designs.
This article is well worth a read and a bookmark for later reference.