Museums and the Web 2005
Demonstrations: Description
Photo Credits

See museum applications demonstrated by the people who created them.

Multi-purposing Museum Media: Quilt Treasures Oral History and Documentary Web Portraits

Marsha MacDowell, Michigan State University Museum, USA
Justine Richardson, Michigan State University, USA

Demonstration: Demonstrations - Session 2

This paper will present the development of Quilt Treasures videotaped oral histories and curated Web portraits as a model for multiplying the uses of a museum's media materials on-line. Quilt Treasures is a multi-institutional, collaborative project of The Alliance for American Quilts, Michigan State University Museum, and MATRIX, focused on documenting the revival of interest in quilts and quilt making in the late twentieth-century through oral histories and Web portraits of individuals who moved the revival forward in a significant way. The primary components of the project have been 1) recording and preserving the videotaped oral history and 2) developing and curating on-line Web portraits using the recorded interviews and a variety of other museum resources. Currently nine Quilt Treasures portraits have been completed, and another five are under production. The planning and implementation of these first Quilt Treasures have resulted in an innovative template that provides flexibility for adaptation in each individual portrait, as well as a model for repurposing a variety of museum materials for projects addressing any subject matter. This paper will demonstrate how the manifestation of a Web portrait influenced the traditional process of oral history documentation and preservation at the MSU Museum. It will explore how the Web design accommodated various media and maximized the use of the interviews through excerpts, edited segments, and textual narrative gleaned from the interview content. Finally, the paper will examine how the curatorial collaboration developed across institutions and media.