April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Interactions: Description

Funding Programs for Technology in Museums

Sonia Feigenbaum, National Endowment for the Humanities, USA
Christopher Mackie, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, USA
Anne-Marie Millner, Canadian Heritage Information Network, Canada

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The National Endowment for the Humanities, represented by Dr. Sonia Feigenbaum, Deputy Director of the Division of Public Programs will offer an informational session focused on the various NEH-funded projects which have made use of digital technologies as a means to disseminate humanities content to broad museum audiences. Additionally, the session will provide information of funding opportunities currently available in the Division of Public Programs for Museums and Cultural Organizations.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Christopher Mackie will introduce programs supported by the Mellon Foundation.The Program in Research in Information Technology (RIT) of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is believed to be the largest private/NGO funder of open source software projects in the world, with more than 30 projects--ranging in size from approximately $1m to approximately $50m in total capitalization--funded since its creation in 2000. RIT serves Mellon's core constituencies, including higher education (with a specific focus on the arts and humanities), research libraries, museums, performing arts organizations, and conservation biology, by creating or discovering production-quality software that supports mission-critical activities within or across those domains. RIT projects are characterized by the use of state-of-the-art software design/engineering principles and practices, as well as by the employment of distributed, collaborative development and governance models. RIT's requirement that the technology it funds be developed for and by the community that will use it is so strong that the methodology used by many RIT projects has come to be known as "community source software." RIT projects are also characterized by a strong commitment to sustainability: more than 2/3 of all projects ever funded by RIT have currently completed funding, and all are still self-sustaining. Example projects include: financial/accounting, grants management, and other administrative systems; teaching, learning, and research-collaboration systems; Web discovery and dissemination systems; rich-media analytical and visualization tools; library repository and museum collection management systems; a project to encourage the creation of a higher-quality, consistent user experience across open source software projects; and a variety of other projects, each intended to support some key need for one or more Mellon constituencies. Details of the projects are available at the RIT website: During the panel session, Mackie will discuss current RIT program priorities as well as some trends that are likely to influence the course of software development for the museum community going forward. He will be available to answer questions about possible projects, RIT funding requirements, and other logistical details.

Canadian Heritage Information Network

Anne-Marie Millner will provide an overview of the Investment programs of the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) - Virtual Museum of Canada & Community Memories.

Mini-Workshop: Funders Forum [Mini-Workshop]

Keywords: grants, funding