Museums and the Web 2005
Demonstrations: Description
Photo Credits

See museum applications demonstrated by the people who created them.

The Virtual Lightbox for Museums and Archives: A Portlet Solution for Structured Data Reuse Across Distributed Visual Resources

Brian Fuchs, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Germany
Leif Isaksen, Ure Museum, United Kingdom
Amy Smith, Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, United Kingdom

Demonstration: Demonstrations - Session 1

Virtual Lightbox for Museums and Archives (VLMA) is an RDF-driven visual collections aggregator/syndicator applet that allows viewing, collecting, and reusing distributed visual archives and relevant metadata via P2P technology. It is a response to specific practical problems in content integration and reuse encountered in digitizing and publishing a small museum's collections and in adding them to larger portals. In small collections object types are normally represented by single examples, if at all, so that such institutions are crucially dependent, for both teaching and research, on comparisons of their holdings to those in other museums and archives. On-line resources could provide much of the requisite comparanda, yet differences in presentation from Web site to Web site severely limit this potential, as does the well-known difficulty of maintaining references to off-site data. To address this problem, the VLMA has developed a portlet approach, in which collections with intrinsically heterogeneous metadata sets are syndicated and their contents collected browsed, stored, viewed, and reused at the peer/client level on an object-by-object basis. This allows metadata integration to be performed at the point of reuse, by the end user, an approach which complements more traditional ones such as common metadata structure (CDWA) or metadata aggregates (OAI). Content reuse can take several forms, ranging from a presentation to resyndication of collected objects in the form of a new collection. The latter possibility provides an easy method for bringing added value to published content as well as a simple way of creating thematically related collections with distributed content.