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Online Exhibits in Plone
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Online Exhibits in Plone

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Museums, libraries, art institutes, and many other types of organizations need online exhibits - websites that mimic the experience of walking through a gallery discovering interesting and beautiful ...

Museums, libraries, art institutes, and many other types of organizations need online exhibits - websites that mimic the experience of walking through a gallery discovering interesting and beautiful objects. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection recently completed a major website redesign, with Plone as their chosen CMS, and online exhibits are an important part of the new site. They wanted many features, but they also wanted online exhibits to be easy for content editors - even interns - to create.

In this talk Sally Kleinfeldt and Alec Mitchell describe collective.exhibit the new open source Plone add-on for online exhibits that we have created for Dumbarton Oaks and for the Plone community. Sally will provide background about what Dumbarton Oaks wanted in their online exhibits. Alec will describe our implementation, covering our use of Dexterity content types, bulk content creation, and how we used templates to provide a rich feature set while still making it easy for inexperienced content editors to create exhibits.

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  • Exhibit - contains sections, informational pages, provides overall navigation\n Exhibit Sections - contain items, item navigation, can stand alone\n Exhibit Items - reference other content items, quick to create\n Make it easy! Templates for exhibit pages and batch creation of sections and items\n
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Online Exhibits in Plone Online Exhibits in Plone Presentation Transcript

  • Online Exhibits in Plone A Project Sponsored By Dumbarton Oaks Sally Kleinfeldt and Alec Mitchell Plone Conference 11 October 2012Image of Byzantine seal ©2012 Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, Trustees for Harvard University.All Rights Reserved.
  • OnlineExhibits
  • Online Exhibits• Mimic the experience of walking through a gallery discovering interesting and beautiful objects• Used by museums, libraries, art institutes, galleries, archives
  • Commercial Exhibit Software• Usually found in museum collections management systems• Features vary, can require extensive customization• Focused on the needs of larger museums
  • Open Source Exhibit Software• Choices proliferating, from simple to CMS- like• Omeka - www.omeka.org - Publish collections with Dublin Core metadata, exhibit plugin with predesigned templates• Pachyderm - pachyderm.nmc.org - Multimedia authoring with predesigned templates
  • Open Source Exhibit Software• GLAM-Kit - glamkit.org - Django based content publishing system for cultural institutions• OpenCollection www.collectiveaccess.org CollectionSpace www.collectionspace.org - Collection management• Open Exhibits - www.openexhibits.org - Flash based templates with multitouch interfaces
  • Dumbarton Oaks
  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection• An institute of Harvard University dedicated to scholarship in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies• Museum, gardens, fellowships, meetings, publications and exhibits• http://doaks.org
  • Dumbarton Oaks Website• Outgrew their static website• Researched CMSes, chose Plone, did a major website redesign• Online exhibits are a high priority for the new site, want to be able to create them in Plone• Had tried Omeka, want something better
  • Online Exhibits: Requirements• Pull from content already on the site and add commentary • Byzantine seals, rare books, images, ...• Multiple styles • Hierarchical vs. linear navigation• Easy for content editors - even interns - to create
  • Make It Open Source!• Create a general purpose, open source Plone package for easy to create online exhibits• Benefit the whole community and make Plone more attractive to museums• Thank you Dumbarton Oaks!
  • Examples
  • Examples• Dumbarton Oaks staff explored online exhibits from other institutions• Provided a set of examples they liked• “Make it work like this”
  • www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Beauty
  • http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/John_Carter_Brown_Library/drugs/
  • http://www.lib.umd.edu/RARE/SpecialCollection/ nancy/
  • http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/exhibits/ johnson/
  • www.americanantiquarian.org/Exhibitions/Men
  • collective.exhibit
  • Implementation• Custom Dexterity-based content types• Central template repository• Automatic creation of exhibit structure• Bulk creation of exhibit items using existing CMS content• Specialized exhibit navigation
  • Content Structure Page Exhibit Page Page Section SectionItem Item Item Item Referenced content
  • Why Dexterity?• Simple lightweight UUID references• Fast content creation; critical when creating content in bulk• Training available at conferences and symposia for Dumbarton Oaks staff• Clear, comprehensive and current documentation
  • Central "Template" Repository• Simple folder at Plone site root• Contains a variety of user-editable content that can be used to initially populate an exhibit • Pre-formatted Pages (Introduction, Acknowledgements, References, ...), pre-configured Collection with faceted navigation• Trivial to implement and provides familiar UI for content editors• Exhibit front page content a good potential use case for Deco
  • Live Demo Creating an exhibit andpopulating a section with content
  • Dumbarton Oaks Features• Image panning and zooming overlays (using a proprietary jQuery library)• Products.Maps integration• Exhibit-only Diazo theme modifications using a helper view to determine when content is part of an exhibit
  • Live DemoPublished Dumbarton Oaks Exhibit (if WIFI is working)
  • Published Examples• http://www.doaks.org/library-archives/library/ the-ancient-future-mesoamerican-and- andean-timekeeping/• http://www.doaks.org/resources/seals/gods- regents-on-earth-a-thousand-years-of- byzantine-imperial-seals
  • To Do
  • For Initial Release• Tests• Documentation• Integrate features from Dumbarton Oaks packages (Map support, theme helper view)
  • For the Future• Deco integration for exhibit front page and section templates• Non-proprietary image zooming support - perhaps using Seadragon for very large images and/or maps• Timeline visualization• Variations on exhibit navigation (linear, nested sections, ...)
  • Questions?