Museums and the Web

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Museum Images On-line: Meeting the Needs of Educators

TitleMuseum Images On-line: Meeting the Needs of Educators
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsWhite, L., Green D., Lancefield R., Chun S., Waibel G., Hsi S., & Harley D.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web 2007. Proceedings
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedToronto, Canada
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordsdistribution, education, high-definition, images, on-line resource base, teachers

Still images, often sourced from museums, are the most heavily used type of digital resource in higher-education institutions today. How can museums ensure that digital images from their collections are effectively distributed and used by educators? After summaries of the key findings of two recent studies on the use of digital images in higher education, we present reports on three examples of different kinds of innovative initiatives that connect digital images from museum collections with the needs and practices of teachers. Sherry Hsi discusses how The Exploratoriumís Web site and digital library have been developed to be an effective image repository to support science teaching at all levels, and G¸nter Waibel outlines the efforts of an RLG Programs/OCLC Working Group that provides support for museums interested in implementing technologies for sharing digital images and metadata more widely. Susan Chun introduces an initiative of The Metropolitan Museum of Art to make high resolution digital images available for use in scholarly publishing free of charge. Layna White concludes with key lessons from the evaluation of the usefulness for teaching of the Web-based museum collections of the Museums and Online Archive of California (MOAC). This paper was designed to set the stage for discussion by session participants of these findings and initiatives, in light of experiences at their institutions. What other new approaches are there for building a robust and useful on-line image resource base? Which approaches seem most likely to work given the economic and technical infrastructures in museums today?