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Museums and the Web

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

#collectionfishing on

People's Choice:
4 votes


Museum Victoria/Collections Australia Network, many collaborating organisations across Australia and New Zealand


Social Media


#collectionfishing uses a simple, wide-used social media platform (Twitter) to play a game for all people interested in museum collections.

Each Monday, the week’s theme is proposed and players link to online collection items within the theme. Each tweet is tagged with #collectionfishing, making the game easy to follow and play along. Players have gone fishing in online collections to seek out unsung heroes, national icons, things creepy and crawly, weather, food and rites of passage, among many others.

#collectionfishing bridges the gap between collections hosted on the websites of individual museums, making unexpected and delightful links between objects, documents, images, archives and audiovisual material. It promotes the collections of each museum, encourages discussion and collaboration, and facilitates research and staff development.

The casual and immediate nature of Twitter and #collectionfishing provides an opportunity to play with collections. It has been used to brag, lament, celebrate, argue and banter about extraordinary items. It has also helped some institutions entering social media for the first time by providing a gentle and fun incentive to test out Twitter.

Now about a year old, #collectionfishing sustains itself thanks to a large pool of regular players from Australia and New Zealand. Some weeks are a riot of light-hearted puns while others are topical and sombre memorials. Whatever the theme, whatever the tone, #collectionfishing is a brilliant way to ensure objects are admired, re-examined and discussed in a new light – and anyone with a Twitter account can play.