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National Collections Online Feasibility Study


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By: Bridget McKenzie, Flow Associates
For: Museums Computer Group Spring Conference 2008
Wednesday 23rd April, 2008, Swansea

Published in: Economy & Finance, Education
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National Collections Online Feasibility Study

  1. 1. National Collections Online Feasibility Study Bridget McKenzie
  2. 2. <ul><li>The Brief </li></ul><ul><li>To find out if it is possible to create a: </li></ul><ul><li>discovery facility that integrates national museum collections, </li></ul><ul><li>providing seamless access to item-level collections, </li></ul><ul><li>and a base on which to build learning resources and creative tools, </li></ul><ul><li>the nationals collaborating successfully and enabling participation by diverse secondary partners. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Enquiry What is the scope? (What kinds of collections and organisations? What kinds of audiences and uses?) What would be a useful project to meet needs of different partners? What past and current initiatives can offer lessons and opportunities? What are the best means of helping people explore collections? How can this be delivered? (Funding & advocacy, the partnership, costs etc)
  4. 4. <ul><li>Partners </li></ul><ul><li>National Museum Director’s Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Victoria & Albert Museum </li></ul><ul><li>National Museum of Science and Industry </li></ul><ul><li>National Maritime Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Culture 24 </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Timescale </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews by 13 May </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop 9 May </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 1 report end of May </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop 18 June </li></ul><ul><li>Phase 2 report end of July </li></ul><ul><li>for NMDC annual meeting </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Community of enquiry </li></ul><ul><li>57 people </li></ul><ul><li>Staff from the lead partner bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Collections Trust, MLA, JISC, BECTA, NEN </li></ul><ul><li>Visit Britain, LOCOG, English Heritage, Wellcome Trust, Ofcom, EDL </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr, Google, Lexara, Powerhouse </li></ul><ul><li>And more… </li></ul><ul><li>What are they saying? </li></ul>
  7. 7. “ Oh no, not another portal!”
  8. 8. “ You need to go to where the eyeballs are”
  9. 9. “ Don’t reinvent the wheel. See how existing projects shape up” <ul><li>EDL – Europeana </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated Architecture Project </li></ul><ul><li>National Museums Online Learning Project </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic E-content Alliance </li></ul><ul><li>Lexara’s Magic Studio </li></ul><ul><li>C24’s Teachers Cultural Resource Discovery project </li></ul><ul><li>Semantic web developments e.g. Powerhouse </li></ul><ul><li>Google searching deep web – e.g. museums using Site Maps & URLs for collections </li></ul><ul><li>It’s still a job to understand these and to see how they can be influenced and interoperate </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Need for audience research – is there a market need for integrated collections? </li></ul><ul><li>Need to establish clarity on copyright if tools are created that enable ‘mashing up’ and collection mixing </li></ul><ul><li>Need for agreement on data standards </li></ul><ul><li>Need for organisational change e.g. work to communicate web expertise within museums </li></ul><ul><li>Need to focus on digitising stuff and getting it out there </li></ul>“ We have to build the foundations first. ”
  11. 11. <ul><li>Need to enable experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Follow example of Powerhouse </li></ul><ul><li>Create a sandbox </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple approaches e.g. microformat tools, API’s, Sitemaps, bookmarking experiments, make your information more wikipedia friendly, try different ways of federated search… </li></ul>“ Let’s just do small stuff ”
  12. 12. <ul><li>Plethora of options </li></ul><ul><li>Questions about leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Strong recommendation not to forge ahead and build something big – to use foundations already there </li></ul><ul><li>Need for a more market-led, or audience-led approach </li></ul><ul><li>Balanced with a need for sector leadership to value and understand emerging technology </li></ul>What does this mean?
  13. 13. What next? And what about you? <ul><li>Workshop on 9 May – exploring these options </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop on 18 June – exploring how to deliver </li></ul><ul><li>Present to NMDC for their decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Ask me if you want to join Google Group discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Will post some questions on MCG list </li></ul>
  14. 14. Bridget McKenzie [email_address] 07890 540178