extending museum



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The Fitzwilliam Museum, Monday 25th October 2004

This seminar was presented as part of the Regional Events programme, supported by the MLA Designation Challenge Fund.

The event was intended as an opportunity to share with other Designated collections and recipients of DCF Collections Care and Documentation funding, a critique of how The Fitzwilliam Museum has approached building a collections database and providing access to that information. Presentations include the Fitzwilliam’s development of an ICT infrastructure, strategies in building database records, and creating public access. The problems encountered and solutions to overcome them were explored, as well as the opportunities that have arisen, threats to the sustainability of achievements and approaches to the evaluation of the user experience.

As well as work on the Museum’s central collections database, there will be discussion of how this has linked to parallel projects. These range from metadata harvesting for service providers to a general audience (24 Hour Museum) and the higher education community (Arts and Humanities Data Service) to interpretive information for visitors available over the Internet (Pharos) and in the galleries (eGuides, PDA-based mobile guides). These raise questions about how museums fit into a broader picture of information provision and learning opportunities.

There will also be presentations about Norfolk Online Access to Heritage (NOAH), initiatives at Colchester Museums, and a view on regional developments and national policy from Nick Poole (Director of mda, previously Regional Policy Advisor at MLA).

Presentations from the day:

Welcome and Introduction to ICT at the Fitzwilliam Museum
Margaret Greeves, Assistant Director, Central Services, The Fitzwilliam Museum

Building collections information – capturing coins
Evangeline Markou, Research Assistant, Coins and Medals, The Fitzwilliam Museum

Developing access
David Scruton, Documentation and Access Manager, The Fitzwilliam Museum

Creating the infrastructure
Shaun Osborne, Computer Manager, The Fitzwilliam Museum

NOAH (Norfolk Online Access to Heritage )
David Jones, Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service

Digitizing Colchester’s Past
Anne-Maria Bojko, Collections Manager, Colchester Museums

Cultural Digital Initiatives: Theory into Action
Chris Turner, MLA

Regional developments and national policy
Nick Poole, Director, mda