Re modelling museum collections for digital content phm2008

  • 422 views
Uploaded on

This is a presentation I gave to staff at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney a year or so after starting there. It was based on trying to change the way content was created for specific projects and look …

This is a presentation I gave to staff at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney a year or so after starting there. It was based on trying to change the way content was created for specific projects and look instead at the workflows which encouraged developing accessible content in economical, and efficient ways. Some of these happened some are still waiting - but I think there are good ideas embedded in here that are worth sharing

More in: Technology
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
422
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1

Actions

Shares
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide
  • Most of the content created was for insertion in KEMu database and conformed to Museum standards and guidelines for documenting objects.
    Thesaurus, object statements that conform to standard sizes, photographs of objects for records with colour and scale in them.
    Significance was written to give uses of KEMu a clearer understanding of the relevance of the object to the museum’s collection policy, value, and broader cultural value as outlined in Assessing Significance handbook.
    However in MAY 2006 the museum took a huge step into the unknown and made a number of the KEMu collection fields accessible online. Once uploaded the records are then harvested every month and put online through OPAC regardless of the existing content.
  • Most of the content created was for insertion in KEMu database and conformed to Museum standards and guidelines for documenting objects.
    Thesaurus, object statements that conform to standard sizes, photographs of objects for records with colour and scale in them.
    Significance was written to give uses of KEMu a clearer understanding of the relevance of the object to the museum’s collection policy, value, and broader cultural value as outlined in Assessing Significance handbook.
    However in MAY 2006 the museum took a huge step into the unknown and made a number of the KEMu collection fields accessible online. Once uploaded the records are then harvested every month and put online through OPAC regardless of the existing content.
  • Not narrative content, web content, exhibition content – it is all museum content and can be redirected to different outcomes
    Collegial project groups, work flow cantered around content development teams, more multi-tasking roles centred on content delivery
    Modular and integrated content linked to other production areas if necessary
    Focus on delivery strategies
    Production values – grassroots, open delivery
    Content integrated into KEMu and online delivery
    Research publication encouraged on-line through pdf templates, low cost multiple authors, edited, branded
    Dovetail with other delivery areas ie. Education
    Projects subject as well as object driven
    Rapid response to issues, links established to State Plan
  • Content has different use online from internal use. How to merge the two?
    Delivery through dynamic fields in OPAC is a significantly different form of web design. Mainly because people search through Google and find single objects first. This form of web delivery is from the bottom up, collection specific information is delivered first, general themes not accounted for.
    Groupings of objects though OPAC were based on a number of criteria such as category, tags and collection groups but these are passive, not organised to display quality content neither are they organised to tell multiple stories. It quickly became apparent that the significance statements we had been writing were a good example of the current limitations. Significance statements were traditionally written by one curator but we now find the process of content creation opened up beyond the boundaries of established curatorial areas multiple authors could highlight significance in different ways. ie design, technology, Australian history etc.
    This style of presenting content inevitably leads to greater emphasis on stories about groups of objects as well as single objects. The narrative module in KEMu provides dynamic content directly to the public but we needed to balance strong editorial processes pre delivery with a style of delivery that allowed content to be updated easily and efficiently.
    There are also potentially huge benefits for curatorial taking on this role
  • Suggested model illustrates limited needs of both We services and Registration to this process.
  • Benefits
    What we are looking at is leveraging the maximum number of outcomes from the expensive process of creating content
    Significance, history notes, production etc compromised by opening up of KEMu fields in OPAC. While working on TAM that a focus on these fields and an acknowledgment of their limitations, it became clear there were a number of things that could be accomplished by careful accumulation of resources at the initial stages. By being clear about the procedures and roles involved in content creation we can also add numerous thematic stories, journal articles, education programs, fact sheets, exhibition content, labels, audio visual, photographs and facsimiles to our list of outcomes.
    Importance of photography, scanning, and other forms of image acquisition at research stage. Creating photography list and sending them to image services or preservation at earliest possible date. Text without images is no good for online delivery nor is it good for publications. Cleared for copyright or copied if the museum has copyright over this material. At this research stage it is also important to look at acquiring audio or audio visuals.
    Grassroots technology is not able to help not hinder the process. Expectations though youtube myspace means peaopl increasingly interested in content not the look of content.
    Working from a fully referenced and footnoted word document we construct a document that can allows detailed analysis of an object to be pasted into KEMu fields, broader subject notes turned into narrative themes.
    A combination of this text content can be turned into printable fact sheets and research papers, while the footnoted document can be rephrased for delivery to journals and magazines.
  • Identifying those museum objects most in need of upgrading of information.
  • Benefits
    What we are looking at is leveraging the maximum number of outcomes from the expensive process of creating content
    Significance, history notes, production etc compromised by opening up of KEMu fields in OPAC. While working on TAM that a focus on these fields and an acknowledgment of their limitations, it became clear there were a number of things that could be accomplished by careful accumulation of resources at the initial stages. By being clear about the procedures and roles involved in content creation we can also add numerous thematic stories, journal articles, education programs, fact sheets, exhibition content, labels, audio visual, photographs and facsimiles to our list of outcomes.
    Importance of photography, scanning, and other forms of image acquisition at research stage. Creating photography list and sending them to image services or preservation at earliest possible date. Text without images is no good for online delivery nor is it good for publications. Cleared for copyright or copied if the museum has copyright over this material. At this research stage it is also important to look at acquiring audio or audio visuals.
    Grassroots technology is not able to help not hinder the process. Expectations though youtube myspace means peaopl increasingly interested in content not the look of content.
    Working from a fully referenced and footnoted word document we construct a document that can allows detailed analysis of an object to be pasted into KEMu fields, broader subject notes turned into narrative themes.
    A combination of this text content can be turned into printable fact sheets and research papers, while the footnoted document can be rephrased for delivery to journals and magazines.
  • In taking this approach we are hoping to utilise people’s changing attitudes toward the web and content creation. One of the most important aspects of this has been the increasing trend towards less designed or produced ‘grassroots’ content. This trend fostered in social networking sites such as youtube and myspace has opened the door for museums to place content first and look less towards design and IT & software their influence on the final costs. Important to this process is the establishing of standards which are achievable with minimal retraining of staff. For instance this interview was conducted by one interviewer, using a tripod and 500 digital camera and as it happened was edited in MovieMaker which is bundled with Windows XP.
    This interview may be improved by professionals using professional software, it may reside in KEMU where it will be upgraded along with other media content, or it may even be posted to Youtube, who knows what it can be used for. But if we had waited to tick all the boxes to get the best possible interview it is quite possible it would never have happened and it would certainly have been exponentially more resource hungry.
  • Static Content = web site specific projects such like this online exhibition of Hedda Morrison’s photographs.
    This is essentially insulated project with preset links and navigational hierarchy.
    Perhaps not surprisingly the static content model also reflects many museum’s exhibition development processes.
    1 selection of a specified group of objects.
    2 hierarchical structure of main theme, sub theme, object labels.
    3 navigation and content defined and controlled by content creator.
  • If we look again at our example of the radio we can see how the object record currently looks
  • Here is how themed content is currently displayed in KEMu.
  • Insertion of narrative themes at the object level addresses some these issues as they appear alongside other links on the objects search page.
    Thus dynamic links from a telescope may include ‘Sydney Observatory, a history’ a pdf footnoted booklet on Sydney Observatory telescopes.
    These in turn would ideally lead to other themes already developed by curators. For example, ‘Schroeder & Sons Instrument makers’, as well as back to objects and video or audio files.
    Most importantly this content is non hierarchical and allows creators to make their own links to existing material as well as making the creation of content quick and efficient.
  • I guess the point here is that the technology is increasingly less of an obstacle to creating content and more focus needs to be placed on how and what content is created. This format also allows us to work more closely with images we have acquired during the research phase. The image on the right for instance was taken with an ordinary digital camera from an out of copyright publication in the Museum’s Research Library.
    Here we have used a desktop publishing template to create a new fully referenced and footnoted research publication. However the content is actually sourced from material we created in a Word document. This word document has already provided thematic content, significance statements and object statements for the web. But because KEMu does not accept footnotes we have no fully referenced documentation to this group of objects and no way of printing all of our content in one go from OPAC. This document is essentially a cut and paste from the Word document and can either provide us with a fully referenced and printable pdf from OPAC or can be sent to an external journal for publication.
  • I guess the point here is that the technology is increasingly less of an obstacle to creating content and more focus needs to be placed on how and what content is created. This format also allows us to work more closely with images we have acquired during the research phase. The image on the right for instance was taken with an ordinary digital camera from an out of copyright publication in the Museum’s Research Library.
    Here we have used a desktop publishing template to create a new fully referenced and footnoted research publication. However the content is actually sourced from material we created in a Word document. This word document has already provided thematic content, significance statements and object statements for the web. But because KEMu does not accept footnotes we have no fully referenced documentation to this group of objects and no way of printing all of our content in one go from OPAC. This document is essentially a cut and paste from the Word document and can either provide us with a fully referenced and printable pdf from OPAC or can be sent to an external journal for publication.
  • I guess the point here is that the technology is increasingly less of an obstacle to creating content and more focus needs to be placed on how and what content is created. This format also allows us to work more closely with images we have acquired during the research phase. The image on the right for instance was taken with an ordinary digital camera from an out of copyright publication in the Museum’s Research Library.
    Here we have used a desktop publishing template to create a new fully referenced and footnoted research publication. However the content is actually sourced from material we created in a Word document. This word document has already provided thematic content, significance statements and object statements for the web. But because KEMu does not accept footnotes we have no fully referenced documentation to this group of objects and no way of printing all of our content in one go from OPAC. This document is essentially a cut and paste from the Word document and can either provide us with a fully referenced and printable pdf from OPAC or can be sent to an external journal for publication.
  • I guess the point here is that the technology is increasingly less of an obstacle to creating content and more focus needs to be placed on how and what content is created. This format also allows us to work more closely with images we have acquired during the research phase. The image on the right for instance was taken with an ordinary digital camera from an out of copyright publication in the Museum’s Research Library.
    Here we have used a desktop publishing template to create a new fully referenced and footnoted research publication. However the content is actually sourced from material we created in a Word document. This word document has already provided thematic content, significance statements and object statements for the web. But because KEMu does not accept footnotes we have no fully referenced documentation to this group of objects and no way of printing all of our content in one go from OPAC. This document is essentially a cut and paste from the Word document and can either provide us with a fully referenced and printable pdf from OPAC or can be sent to an external journal for publication.
  • One spin of from the project has been understanding that there is no either or solution for the web. We are currently looking at delivering a broad range of content, such as this volunteer handout, which we can link to the database making it available for internal and external use.
    This is a key ingredient when it comes to efficiently creating content wherever it is intended to be distributed. We are looking at creating the content in modular blocks of information. In TAM’s case this has been from the collection upwards but these blocks when joined together can tell different stories or be published for different audiences, eventually they could even become the building blocks for creation of exhibitions.
  • I guess the point here is that the technology is increasingly less of an obstacle to creating content and more focus needs to be placed on how and what content is created. This format also allows us to work more closely with images we have acquired during the research phase. The image on the right for instance was taken with an ordinary digital camera from an out of copyright publication in the Museum’s Research Library.
    Here we have used a desktop publishing template to create a new fully referenced and footnoted research publication. However the content is actually sourced from material we created in a Word document. This word document has already provided thematic content, significance statements and object statements for the web. But because KEMu does not accept footnotes we have no fully referenced documentation to this group of objects and no way of printing all of our content in one go from OPAC. This document is essentially a cut and paste from the Word document and can either provide us with a fully referenced and printable pdf from OPAC or can be sent to an external journal for publication.
  • Here we have used a desktop publishing template to create a new fully referenced and footnoted research publication. However the content is actually sourced from material we created in a Word document. This word document has already provided thematic content, significance statements and object statements for the web. But because KEMu does not accept footnotes we have no fully referenced documentation to this group of objects and no way of printing all of our content in one go from OPAC. This document is essentially a cut and paste from the Word document and can either provide us with a fully referenced and printable pdf from OPAC or can be sent to an external journal for publication.
  • Commoncraft is a great site to visit to get clear and concise explanations of some web terms, like twitters and podcasting.
  • Finally if you are at all interested you can see some examples of our current work by searching on ‘Parramatta Observatory’ in the collections and research tab on the Museums Website. Thank You.
  • Dynamic = OPAC specific projects such as tagging, external subject Google searches. The main emphasis of this approach is the objects, as people enter the site through external search engines which have spidered the online collection’s significance description object statement history and notes fields.
    2006/7: 70% visits come through OPAC. 50-60% come via external web searches. 5% start from PHM homepage but 30% visit homepage as a part of visit suggesting Hedda Morrison pages will be far less frequently visited than if the same information was delivered through KEMu.
  • This is one way a theme may look.
  • Problems with exhibition focus on web content creation
    Mainly limited to curatorial defined themes often relating to developed exhibitions.
    Content needs to be developed in conjunction with specialists, IT, web developers etc. In the PHM this means developing content across departments before content can be put online.
    Unique linking structure created for each project.
    Resource hungry in time and updating content.
    Navigation and experience controlled by content developer not the user.
    Legacy issues not addressed as not embedded in KEMu
  • Searches based on subjects typed into external engines, such as Google which lead users to significance statements about individual objects in OPAC, not stories or themed text about groups of objects..
    Links from these objects go to object groups which are based on the information already entered into KEMu category field and user tags.
    Currently the information associated with these links is uncontrolled and quality of documentation such as significance statements and photographs varies considerably.
    No provision for printing material on collections of objects
  • This is an example of how this non-hierarchical, (or heterarchical) content structure works on the Powerhouse Museum’s OPAC site..
  • These two models mirror the way content is currently delivered online.
  • The Australian Copyright Council has a number of fantastic information sheets on copyright available online.
  • Just a note for those interested in copyright for museums, the listing for Museums can be now found under the heading of Galleries and Museums. The library one ifs helpful also.
  • Setting up procedures.
    Talking to people to define a list of potential outcomes from content creation
    Testing stuff; putting it up and seeing what works
    Working on editorial processes and upgrading skills
    Looking at legacy issues, what content have we already developed that we could harvest
    How can we involve more people in the process.
  • The benefits of creating content this way are many fold. In the first instance content can be used to group like objects and objects with high levels of documentation. Users would be guided however through groupings with high quality record data: significance statements, photos etc.
    This kind of dynamic content does not even need to be directly linked to objects. This means research material which dos not conform to exhibition briefs or is difficult to include in significance statements can be written up as themes and loaded into KEMu.
    A single object or narrative can also be linked to a wide range of content, such as pdf’s, audio and video.
    The experience is user defined as a link from an object to a narrative or another kind of resource opens the door to other linked narratives allowing the user to mine their own path through the collection. In doing so they encounter multiple authors not one.
    Essentially this content becomes modular and can provide the basis for multiple uses by museum staff in areas such as education. It is also made available for the public to use for schools projects etc.
    Lastly legacy issues are addressed. This modular system ensures the resources used in creating content are not lost in a file on someone's desk or thrown away when they leave. It is in KEMu and is updated with the rest of the content.

Transcript

  • 1. Narratives • Online database leads to possibility of harvesting narratives to OPAC. Web Development wants more links to individual pages increase ranking and stats • Registration asked to open module take control of implementing the project. • However the essential ingredient is still missing – content • Kimberley works with CHDC content and this leads to curatorial re-appraising not only delivery but creation of content. • Curatorial in the pilots seat – demand for content increases, how to do it efficiently using current resources?
  • 2. Narratives • Curatorial is perfectly placed to use narratives to illustrate the importance of content creation in running all areas of museum business. • However not alone – other content creators education, web services, d-hub, image resources all of whom have interest in narratives • However I would argue that of all of these curatorial is best placed to set up systems for creation of content and for ensuring that content finds its way into KEMu and is edited.
  • 3. Content using exhibition models • Production Line • Adversarial, competing for limited delivery points. Creation sectioned curatorially. • Workflow heavily divided, points of delivery heavily demarcated • Focus on end product – the physical exhibition • Production values – high end labour intensive • On-line content focussed on exhibition webs • Research not published no provision for footnotes etc • No legacy provisions for content harvesting • Importance of scholarship to museum and curatorial work. Preservation without scholarship is nostalgia: Lonnie Bunch Smithsonian. How much scholarship attached to Collection objects?
  • 4. Content new curatorial model • Not narrative content, web content, exhibition content – it is all museum content and can be redirected to different outcomes • • • • • • • • Collegial project groups, Focus on delivery strategies Production values – grassroots, open delivery Content integrated into KEMu and online delivery Research publication encouraged on-line Dovetail with other delivery areas Projects subject as well as object driven Rapid response to issues
  • 5. Narrative model suggested by Image Services and Registration The 1874 Transit of Venus KEMu Object Record Janssen apparatus Schroeder & Sons Optical Instrument makers KEMu Object Record Schroeder micrometer Zeiss Glass Company KEMu Object Record Troughton telescope. Sydney Observatory 1858-1926 KEMu Object Record Schroeder telescope.
  • 6. Narrative model suggested by Curatorial Architecture in C19th Sydney Sydney Observatory 1858-1926 Optical Glass manufacture Parramatta Observatory The 1874 Transit of Venus Facsimile pdf of the original 1892 publication Schroeder telescope Sydney Observatory telescopes booklet pdf Optical Glass manufacture Schroeder & Sons Optical Instrument makers Zeiss Glass Company Photographic cameras
  • 7. • Multiple Outcomes. • Significance, history notes, production etc compromised by opening up of KEMu fields in OPAC • Significance statements, history and production notes rather than end results instead become our initial building blocks.
  • 8. • Working from a fully referenced and footnoted word document • Combination of text and images in a variety of ways • Grassroots
  • 9. • This kind of publication also provides a printer friendly version not currently available via either OPAC or the website. It also eliminates much of the repetition which occurs in KEMu records. • Constructing narratives from the bottom up provides an alternative avenue for the use of content uncovered as a part of the research process. This would allow research publications, FACs sheets, facsimiles of letters books etc., images publications be built in as a part of the process.
  • 10. Static web pages on PHM Web Site Search option only on Hedda Morrison Pages Links to individual pages originally set up as narratives
  • 11. Dynamic content currently running on OPAC Scalable image of object. Links to other object listed with the same subject in KEMu Links to objects in same catagory
  • 12. Sydney Observatory dynamic web pages on PHM web site Scalable image from out of copyright publication. Not an object image Pdf publication List of linked themes. Changes as added to by variety of content creators in the museum Broad Narrative theme or story.
  • 13. Themed solution for dynamic web content creation for OPAC • Insertion of narrative themes at the object level addresses some these issues. • Dynamic links to a variety of media. • Links created between a variety of content creators. • Non hierarchical, quick and efficient
  • 14. Significance and object statements reformatted to make extended publication Digital camera used to take photo from out of copyright book.
  • 15. Themes currently running on OPAC Copyright cleared images for non collection sources Links to themes not necessarily lined to objects Links to objects with good associated data, sig, history photos etc
  • 16. • Heterarchical narratives ensure a large part of the content resides within KEMu and OPAC and is not a separate resource such as the search specific Hedda Morrison pages. • Modular nature of heterarchical narratives allows curators to use already created narratives when linking objects. • Templates for creating narratives allow curators to control content delivery and schedule and update content as research completed. It is not reliant on physical exhibition development.
  • 17. Creating a narrative • Hierarchical ‘Hedda’ • Master and sub narratives • Heterarchical ‘TAM Collection Narratives GB’ • Materials Comb Manufacture • Materials Combs
  • 18. Creating a narrative • Step One • Go to file new • Enter details: date, purpose, name and into the narrative tab add text and f needed images • Under objects tab create a list of objects you want to link to the narrative and save or if there are no objects save the narrative with the appropriate name.
  • 19. Creating a narrative • Step Two • Link the narrative to associated narratives through the hierarchy tab and create new link to the appropriately named narrative. • Repeat as necessary
  • 20. Exhibition Models • Virtual Museum : to implement • • • • • • • • Team module; Tam non departmental, good track record of outcomes Grassroots; staff trained in broad range of area, writing, editing for publication online, video, interviewing, Photoshop Linked to collection strengths; project based modular outcomes Editorial; (preferred from within team to aid the delivery process) peer review essential to whole process and establishing standards Powerhouse branded research publications; provide outlet for research, opportunity to offer scholarships for content writers, Issn to ensure lodged with national libraries, Powerhouse keeps control of information written by staff, built into workflow of virtual museum, basis for exhibition and briefs, footnoted documents can enable reference from future enquiries, basis for FAQ sheets, Tours etc Delivery of multiple modules; POD, VOD, publication, You Tube, narratives, online publications, facsimiles, catalogues, Flicker, Picture Australia Delivery costs; minimised Legacy issues and succession planning built into harvesting of data already produced by Powerhouse
  • 21. Exhibition Models • Virtual Museum : Questions • • • • • • Model should start with curatorial as creators of content modules this then worked on with designers, education, exhibitions A/V etc Current TAM model of work favour object focus is Objects need preservation and registration first then content and significance last in the food chain. Reality many objects have been sitting in collections and will continue to be ok if stored as currently. however if photos and content created about them this could make them accessible to public. Lower costs associated with this than with storage & preservation. Very few likely to get to exhibition, large part of collection not focussed on Team access to hardware and software already started to be addressed within TAM as part of training and developing CHDC and other TAM projects. Photography essential to the process
  • 22. Themes currently running on OPAC Copyright cleared images for non collection sources Links to themes not necessarily lined to objects Links to objects with good associated data, sig, history photos etc
  • 23. Theme title Objects grouped under this theme which link to their individual records and significance statements
  • 24. Problems with exhibition focus on web content creation • Mainly limited to curatorial defined themes often relating to developed exhibitions. • Content needs to be developed in conjunction with specialists, IT, web developers etc. • Unique linking structure. • Resource hungry. • Navigation and experience controlled by content developer not the user. • Legacy issues not addressed as not embedded in KEMu
  • 25. Problems with dynamic web content creation for OPAC • Searches based on subject searches through external engines such as Google which leads users to individual objects in OPAC, not stories. • Currently links from these objects to other objects in the collection are based on KEMu category fields and user tags. • Currently the information associated with these links is uncontrolled and quality of documentation such as significance statements and photographs varies considerably. • No provision for printing material on collections of objects
  • 26. Themed Narratives KEMu Object Record Schroeder telescope.
  • 27. Themed Narratives Sydney Observatory 1858-1926 Schroeder telescope
  • 28. Themed Narratives Sydney Observatory 1858-1926 Sydney Observatory telescopes booklet pdf Schroeder telescope
  • 29. Themed Narratives Sydney Observatory 1858-1926 Sydney Observatory telescopes booklet pdf Schroeder telescope Optical Glass manufacture Schroeder & Sons Optical Instrument makers
  • 30. Themed Narratives Architecture in C19th Sydney Sydney Observatory 1858-1926 Optical Glass manufacture Parramatta Observatory The 1874 Transit of Venus Facsimile pdf of the original 1892 publication Schroeder telescope Sydney Observatory telescopes booklet pdf Optical Glass manufacture Schroeder & Sons Optical Instrument makers Zeiss Glass Company Photographic cameras
  • 31. Two web content models Static/Hierarchical Dynamic/Heterarchical Sydney Observatory 1856-1926 Astronomy and Photography Sydney Observatory 1856-1926 The Transit of Venus The Schroeder Telescope The Mapping the Stars Project Troughton & Simms instrument Makers Astronomy and Photography Troughton & Simms instrument Makers Optical Glass manufacture The Mapping the Stars Project Schroeder telescope The Transit of Venus
  • 32. At the moment we are …. • Setting up procedures. • Talking to people to define a list of potential outcomes from content creation • Testing stuff; putting it up and seeing what works • Working on editorial processes and upgrading skills • Looking at legacy issues, what content have we already developed that we could harvest • Seeing how can we involve more people in the process.
  • 33. Benefits of dynamic web content creation • Content used to group like objects and objects with high levels of documentation. • Includes research material from exhibition briefs or content difficult to include in significance statements. • Objects or narratives linked to a wide range of content, such as pdf’s, audio and video. • User defined experience • Modular content for multiple uses by museum staff and the public. • Legacy issues are addressed.