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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:
November 7, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License

Getting Your Collections Online - Practical Lessons from Successful Projects
Alex Morrison, Cognitive Applications Ltd., United Kingdom
Ben Rubenstein, Cognitive Applications, Ltd., United Kingdom

Session: Practice Makes Perfect

Many museums are now working on systems to put their collections online. The authors have already been involved in eight substantial online collections projects, with many more in prospect. Each case has presented different challenges. This paper will review the state of the art based on our work and notable developments elsewhere. We will provide a practical overview of common project requirements including user interface, content management system and likely future developments of both.

Online collections projects typically leverage prior investments in collections management information, documentation, photography and digital imaging. They also naturally deliver new content into an existing corporate web site. So it is vital that the new system integrate with the web site at the front-end and with the collections management system, image assets and other data sources at the back-end. We will provide ideas on how the key architectural and technical issues can be successfully resolved in order to deliver a first rate user experience for the public and a manageable environment for the museum's web team.

We will also discuss how the way that a project is approached can benefit future developments for non-standard and future platforms including mobile and wireless devices.