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Alison Bean: Online Exhibitions - Top tips and creating the buzz -

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Talk presented as part of Creating Online Exhibitions on 2 Nov 09 at the British Museum, run by the E-Learning Group for Museums, Libraries and Archives

Talk presented as part of Creating Online Exhibitions on 2 Nov 09 at the British Museum, run by the E-Learning Group for Museums, Libraries and Archives


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  • 1. Online Exhibitions - Top tips and creating the buzz - Alison Bean The British Postal Museum & Archive
  • 2. Who are we?
    • The British Postal Museum & Archive was established in 2004 to manage the public records of The Royal Mail Archive, and to develop access to the museum collections of the former National Postal Museum, which closed in 1998.
  • 3. Locations
    • Freeling House, London
    • Storage of Archive and high-value material
    • Public Search Room
    • Small exhibition space
    • Museum Store, Essex
    • Storage of Museum collection (large objects)
    • Some public access and events
  • 4. In-house exhibitions
    • Space is limited to three display cabinets in our Search Room used to display philatelic material
  • 5. Museum Store displays
    • Primarily a working Museum Store, although objects are arranged with visitors in mind
    • No room for exhibitions
  • 6. New Centre
    • A new home for the British Postal Museum & Archive, opening in 2013 in Swindon. It will offer the full Museum and Archive experience for the first time.
  • 7. Online exhibitions
    • Online versions of real life exhibitions
      • e.g. Designs on Delivery: GPO Posters 1930-1960
  • 8. Online exhibitions
    • Benefits
    • An affordable way to mount an exhibition
    • Raises the profile of a real-life exhibition
    • Raises the profile of the institution
    • Demonstrates what an institution can do
    • Provides greater access to the exhibition and collection
    • Online exhibitions allow you to display more material, in more detail, than you could in real life
  • 9. Online exhibitions
    • Gentleman on Stamps – Stamp designs
  • 10. Making the most of online
    • If you don’t have the budget for a bespoke mini-site, get a flexible CMS designed with online exhibitions in mind
    • Structure your exhibition to suit the medium
    • Text should be engaging, intelligent and interesting rather than short for short’s sake
    • Consider what different audiences will want or expect (i.e. zoomable high quality images)
  • 11. Making the most of online
    • Add details and extras for those that want them
      • Informative image captions
      • Links to related material on your website and elsewhere
      • Related products you may be selling
    • Include multimedia elements
      • Audio and video
      • 3D scans
      • Interactive elements and comments boxes
  • 12. Social media and web 2.0
    • Build, generate and target audiences, and let them find you through tags and searches
      • Blog and tweet about the progress and process of your exhibition
      • Put material from your exhibition on sites such as Flickr or You Tube
    • Flickr is a cheap and easy alternative to building an online exhibition from scratch
  • 13. Using Flickr
    • Flickr Groups
    • Add your photos to special interest groups (e.g. London at war)
    • Members will not only view your pictures, but may know more about them than you!
  • 14. Using Flickr
    • Flickr Notes
    • The notes feature in Flickr allows you to draw a box around part of a photo and annotate it.
    • The annotation can include a hyperlink
    • Any Flickr user can add a note
  • 15. Using Flickr
  • 16. Arago
    • An innovative website from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum
      • Online catalogue
      • Online exhibitions portal
      • Volunteer involvement
      • User interactivity
    http:// www.arago.si.edu /