Black country collections online

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Black country collections online

  1. 1. Black Country Collections Online Linda Ellis and James Grimster
  2. 2. Project aims • To widen access to objects and artworks held by museum services in the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall & Wolverhampton) • To reduce costs by working together • To create a sustainable online resource • To promote the rich industrial heritage of the Black Country • To instil a sense of local pride in the area
  3. 3. Considerations • Target audience – Art / history informed – Local and family history researchers – Non-museum / gallery visitors • Users’ wants – An easy way to find source material about their interests – As much information online as possible – To be able to plan visits to see items not on display – Content they can re-use
  4. 4. Considerations cont. • Of the six main museums and galleries in the region, only one had all of their collections online, one had about 8%, the rest less than 1% • Each of the museum services had widely varying collections – Fine and decorative art, locally made items, ephemera, natural history, geology, ethnography, weapons etc • Our corresponding archive services already had a joint online catalogue - ww.BlackCountryHistory.org
  5. 5. Considerations cont. • Resources: – MLA and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation funding: • Central project team - 3 members of staff • £40k project funding over 2 years – Very limited resources within individual partner museums (staff and money) • Anything we developed needed to be sustainable once the project finished – Ongoing staff time and annual hosting and maintenance costs needed to be kept to a minimum
  6. 6. Our solution – 4 strands • Added content to Black Country History website • Creating 6 audience targeted microsites – Geology, glass, fine art, decorative art, local manufacturing, love and marriage • Added content to third party websites: – Culture Grid, PNDS and Europeanna – Inspiration Bank • Added content to social networking sites
  7. 7. Black Country History website
  8. 8. Black Country History website – 8 partners; 4 museum services, 4 archives – Online catalogue; data is taken from our collections databases – Original website used Axiell’s DSCovery software, now using CollectionsBase back end and a WordPress front end – As of Nov 2010 contains 127,800+ records • 21,700+ records with images • 20,600+ museum records
  9. 9. Improved searching
  10. 10. Issues to be resolved • Data quality – Terminology / use of controlled thesauri – Spelling mistakes, missing data items • Collection management system can handle different date formats but the web system can’t – 19th Century, 1800 – 1899 – mid 19th century, circa 1850, 1840 – 1850
  11. 11. Microsites • Microsites created using the same web back end, focusing on specific audience groups • Geology Matters (geologymatters.org.uk) already live, others are in progress
  12. 12. WordPress front end means that websites are easy to set up
  13. 13. Easy to add blogs, videos, twitter feeds etc
  14. 14. Culture Grid, PNDS & Europeanna
  15. 15. Inspiration Bank West Midlands partnership website
  16. 16. Social networking Collections focused Flickr, Twitter, Facebook
  17. 17. CollectionsBase • XSLT (XML transforms) into a common interchange format for various systems • MySQL based repository contains XML and provides OAI target • SOLR based indexing, qualified DC, matches CultureGrid schema • Rate limited API layer over SOLR provides OpenSearch and faceted response for WordPress
  18. 18. So far…. • Digital Midlands – 275,000 records – 18 partners, 20 more in the pipeline – Black Country, Staffordshire, Shropshire • Standard use cases – research use, subject specialist – standard events publicity approaches
  19. 19. What next? • We know – more people farm electric sheep than use digital collections (FarmVille) – people are willing to become mayor of a car park (FourSquare, Gowalla) • Trying out MyMuseum: the pervasive game – Stoke CFTF, Shropshire DCD – Virtual Rewards for Achievements based on collections data usage – Real rewards for location based achievements: i.e. treasure hunts via QR. Beer tokens? Nudge theory? Wider citizenship use cases? – FaceBook connect, Foursquare, SCVGR API – Has anyone already tried this? – A disaster waiting to happen?
  20. 20. Contact us • Linda Ellis – Wolverhampton Art Gallery – linda.ellis@wolverhampton.gov.uk • James Grimster – Orangeleaf Systems – james@orangeleaf.com • Black Country Museums – Flickr: Black Country Museums – Twitter: @BCMusuems – Facebook: Geology Matters, Made in the Black Country

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