Museums and the Web 1999

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Published: March 1999.

Abstracts

Museums and Libraries in the Age of the Internet: Lessons Learned from a Collaborative Website

Deborah Schwartz , Brooklyn Museum of Art, USA

Session: IMLS Sponsored R&D Projects

The Brooklyn Expedition is a new educational web site created as a collaborative venture by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Children's Museum and the Brooklyn Public Library. Sharing an interest in expanding public access to their institutions, the three partners have designed a web site that expands and enriches the educational resources available to young people, their families, and their teachers. Based upon a discovery model of learning, and driven by visual imagery, the site has inspired three cultural institutions to invent new software, and to look at issues of visual and research literacy in new ways.

Recently awarded a two year National Leadership Grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Brooklyn Expedition has already created two thematic expeditions; one that explores structures (from buildings to skeletons to structures of information) and another that explores artifacts from Latin America. A third module will focus on the history and culture of Brooklyn, and will be created in cooperation with a team of teenagers. Additionally, an ongoing evaluation conducted by staff from the Center for Children and Technology will be used to track use of the site, its effectiveness as an educational tool and to inform decisions about changes and improvements of the site as it evolves over several years.