Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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Twitter stats for #mw2011 and #museweb

As Brian Kelly has noted on his blog post about alternatives, January 6, 2012 is the last day Twapperkeeper will be online and freely available. Since there were Twapperkeeper archives set up for both the #museweb and #mw2011 hashtags, I've grabbed the stats for 'posterity'.

Museums and the Web: Next Steps

When we held the first Museums and the Web in 1997, none of us were sure how the Web would develop, or what technologies would be most interesting to museums in the future. We certainly didn't anticipate the close community that would develop around the conference, sustaining itself in various ways online between annual get-togethers. Your knowledge and generosity is unique and amazing; it has made Museums and the Web the international conference for culture and heritage online.

But after fifteen years, it's time for us to step back from the day-to-day management of Museums and the Web. We both recognize the importance of MW to the community, and care deeply about the persistence of its legacy (including the online archive of papers going back to 1997). So it's taken some time to work out our next steps.

Talk at the Museu Picasso, Barcelona today

This morning David and I gave a talk at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona. We were asked to highlight some of the issues facing museums as they work to make the best use of network and social media technologies.

digital curation and curating digitally

i spent several days this past week with a group (primarily comprised of archivists and librarians it seemed) celebrating the launch of a Digital Curation Institute at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information.

within the world of libraries and archives 'digital curation' has come to stand for the active management of electronic records and digital archives. it's a post-facto approach to the custody of a digital legacy

this a far cry from the kinds of things that museums do when they think about curating digitally. this is one place where Library-Archive-Museum convergence isn't happening. ...

New paper online about convergence and professional education in archives, museums and libraries

Emerging Convergence? Thoughts on museums, archives, libraries and professional training

J. Trant, Archives & Museum Informatics
[author's pre-print of article to appear in Museum Management and Curatorship, Vol. 24, no. 4, Dec. 2009.]

Fluid Engage: my intro as a project advisor

two things that i would like to bring to Fluid Engage :

web pages i showed:

Archives & Museum Informatics [our home page]

Museum jobs: a summary

when talking to some of the developers at the Fluid Engage project team meeting today (i'm on the Advisory Committee), i realised that an introduction to the way that museums are organized, and what kinds of people do which kinds of jobs, would be helpful.

safe travels everyone

Can you see the rabbit?  from jtrant on flickr

we're looking forward to seeing you all in Indianapolis next week. Spring isn't quite as far along as in this picture, but temperatures do look good. See the full forecast on the weather network.

And remember, if you are coming from reminder: if you're coming to MW2009 from outside the US and Canada, you need to fill in the USA Immigration ESTA form.

there are details about airport transfers on the MW2009 Local Information page. Check out the MW2009 Yelp! page for Indy restaurant recommendations.

travel safely!

25 random things about archives & museum informatics

we were tagged by the IMA a while back, in the 25 random things 'chain letter' that's been haunting the web in its various incarnations. from the better-late-than-never school of thought comes our 25:

Muriel Cooper: designer of the information landscape

deep in the midst of production deadlines for MW2009, i'm celebrating Ada Lovelace day by remembering Muriel Cooper, co-founder of MIT's Visible Language Workshop. a pioneer in thinking about – and visually representing – information space, Cooper's insistence that information had characteristics beyond the linear was of significant influence on me as i worked with the Art Information Task Force, structuring the Categories for the Description of Works of Art in the early 1990s. research report available: Tagging, Folksonomy and Art Museums

Tagging, Folksonomy and Art Museums: Results of’s research

J. Trant, Archives & Museum Informatics

Tagging has proven attractive to art museums as a means of enhancing access to on-line collections. The research project studied tagging and the relationship of the resulting folksonomy to professionally created museum documentation. A variety of research questions were proposed, and methods for answering them explored. Works of art were assembled to be tagged, a tagger was deployed, and tagging encouraged. A folksonomy of 36,981 terms was gathered, comprising 11,944 terms in 31,031 term/work pairs. The analysis of the tagging of these works – and the assembled folksonomy – is reported here, and further work described.

Museums and the Web: Current Issues

the slides from my presentation yesterday at Keio University, Tokyo, are on-line now, at slideshare [and embedded below]. Thanks to everyone who responded to my query about what keeps you up at night.


New Pew Stats: American Adults and Social Networks

There's a new update out from the Pew Internet and American Life Project about "Adults and Social Network Sites". See the summary at and download the report from

New Grant Competition: Digging Into Data Challenge

A new grant opportunity for projects exploring large-scale data analysis has been announced, supporting collaborative research in Canada, the US and the UK that makes use of large data sets.

From their Web site:

New Article: Tagging, Folksonomy and Art Museums: Early Experiments and Ongoing Research


Tagging has proven attractive to art museums as a means of enhancing the indexing of online collections. This paper examines the state of the art in tagging within museums and introduces the research project, and its study of tagging behaviour and the relationship of the resulting folksonomy to professionally created museum documentation. A variety of research questions are proposed and methods for answering them discussed. Experiments implemented in the research collaboration are discussed, preliminary results suggested, and further
work described.

J Trant. Tagging, Folksonomy and Art Museums: Early Experiments and Ongoing Research, Journal of Digital Information, Vol 10, No 1 (2009) available at :