Museums and the Web

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

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The American Image: The Photographs of John Collier Jr.

University of New Mexico, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology

I think this is an extremely innovative example for how to present a museum collection online.* Especially in presenting archives, libraries and museums do little to engage visitors with the content aside from giving people some images and 'tombstone' information and possibly learning activities. This is one of the most comprehensive presentations of a collection I've ever seen. First, the website uses the web medium quite effectively. The 'Propoganda Filmaker' activity allows visitors to use the archive to make propoganda films online. This activity effectively illustrates one of the main purposes of the archive without stating it in dry curatorial text. The other innovative approach to this website is that the photographs from the archive are also posted on flickr. I imagine the intention was partly to get people interested in the collection 'through the back door,' through casual browsing on a popular photo sharing website. I think the other intention might have been to make tagging part of educational activities on the site (see 'The Shooting Script') *Note: I can't say for sure when it was produced, but I believe it was launched in 2007.

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