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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.

Reciprocal Research Network

People's Choice:
2 votes




Museum of Anthropology




Research | Online Collection


The RRN - An Online Research EnvironmentThe RRN - An Online Research EnvironmentThe Reciprocal Research Network is an online research environment that provides access to over 400,000 First Nations items from the Northwest Coast and British Columbia. It provides access to items from 19 different partner institutions around the world, enabling geographically dispersed users and institutions - including originating communities, academics and museum staff - to carry out individual or collaborative cultural heritage research projects. Diverse user groups share their own perspectives and knowledge with the people and institutions that make up the RRN community. To date, over 1,200 people have joined the RRN and collectively contributed over 2,000 discussions, projects, and pieces of shared knowledge.

RRN MobileRRN MobileThe RRN receives regular data updates from its partners in a variety of formats and maps the data into a single consistent representation alongside the original information. This data is then made available to users of the RRN in a variety of ways. In addition to the standard RRN interface, users can access a mobile-optimized version of the RRN using their phone or tablet. Developers can leverage the data harmonization done by the RRN through the RRN’s API. The API presents this information in both XML and JSON formats, allowing developers to recontextualize objects outside the RRN.

Partner Institutions holding Haida MasksPartner Institutions holding Haida MasksThe RRN’s faceted search tools make it simple to formulate complicated search queries while at the same time providing them with additional information about their search. For example, while searching for Haida masks, users can open the “Holding Institution” tag cloud to see which Partner Institutions hold these masks and then open an interactive map to see where each object was made.

Collaborative ProjectsCollaborative ProjectsCollaboration tools allow RRN users to create private projects where they can hold discussions, upload files, and categorize and annotate items. Users can choose to share this knowledge with the rest of the RRN community, automatically notifying the partner institutions that contributed the items.

Knowledge SharingKnowledge SharingCredits:

The RRN is a joint project co-developed by Musqueam Indian Band, the Stó:lō Nation/Tribal Council, the U'mista Cultural Society and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.

Funding for this project came from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, Canadian Heritage, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Vancouver Foundation, Yosef Wosk, Young Canada Works, the University of British Columbia, and the UBC Faculty of Arts.

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