Museums and the Web

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

You are hereMW / Hola Canada! The Latin American Collections at the Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology an

Hola Canada! The Latin American Collections at the Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology an

Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the SFU Learning and Instructional Development Centre.
Jeremy Thorp and Learning and Instructional Development Centre, Simon Fraser University

Visit the Flash portion of the website: The Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Simon Fraser University has a diverse collection of artifacts and archival images, many relating to the peoples of Central and South America. Following our success with ?A Journey to a New Land?, our 2005 award winning web site developed with finding from the Virtual Museum of Canada, we decided to try a different approach that would reach non-traditional audiences and connect with new Canadians from Central and South America, both as co-creators of content and as a viewing audience. The funding agency for this project was Canadian Culture Online. We partnered with MOSAIC, a multilingual multicultural non-profit organization based in Vancouver that serves to integrate new Canadians and the Archaeological Society of British Columbia, drawing on many resources from across campus, from the pop culture energy and creativity of the students in the New Media Lab of the School of Communications to the web savvy of the Learning and Instructional Development Centre; from the research and writing skills of archaeology students and alumni to the translation skills of a wide variety of archaeologists, Latin Americanists and others. This site is the first site we have done that is completely translated into three languages, English, French and Spanish, broadening our viewing audience dramatically. We wanted a fresh way of navigating through our site, less straightforward and more fun, so our primary target audience aged 9 to 12 would not get bored. The ideal solution was to hire one of Vancouver?s most prominent Flash designers, Jeremy Thorp. Jeremy?s primary interest is combining principles of neural networks and generative art. He came up with the idea of floating spheres and sun dials, based on Latin American art featured on the site. The site is database driven, and delivered in three languages. Visitors can save favorite images and make their own collections, play ancient musical instruments in the museum?s collection and hear ancient sounds, assemble jig saw puzzle murals and play Sudoku using Mayan numbers. The site?s images and themes are interconnected, enabling visitors to dive into the content from these activities.

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