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Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

We're considering using EMu's Narratives module, in combination with our Catalog, Parties, and Multimedia modules, to create online exhibits and it would be helpful to have some examples from other institutions to share with the decision-makers here at MHS. Would people be willing to send me links to current online exhibits that make use of EMu's Narratives module? I've found a few examples from previous posts here on emuusers.org, but I'm guessing there are some newer projects online out there that would be good to know about.

Thanks, everyone.

-- Karen

Karen Lovaas
Collection Management System Manager
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Boulevard West
St. Paul, MN 55102
karen.lovaas@mnhs.org

Edited by: - 01-Jan-70 09:00:00

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Re: Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

Hi Karen,

We must have been on the same wavelength yesterday.... I too was thinking it would be a fantastic resource for planning, decision making and enlightening staff to the wonderous possibilities if people were willing to post up URL's of websites that showcase their use of Narratives.

I too am interested in virtual exhibits and am particularly looking forward to seeing the developments at Rochdale Arts and Heritage Services, UK.
I am also interested in examples of where researchers, curators and collections managers have generated enhanced contextual information about objects, collections, people and collecting events etc. within Narratives and aimed at a 'knowledgeable' audience and thus may differ from text styles generated by an Education department.

look forward to seeing some response to your request.


Dave Smith
Petrology Collections Manager
Natural History Museum, London

Dave Smith
Earth Sciences Data Manager
Natural History Museum, London

David Smith
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Re: Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

Hi Karen and Dave

Down here at Te Papa, we have recently launched our new Collections Online site which utilises narratives alongside the catalogue, Parties, Multimedia and the Thesaurus.

Try the World War I example at: http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/theme.aspx?irn=647

We also build exhibition "mini-sites" using narratives: http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/exhib … RitaAngus/

We are going to be blogging about some of the developments to our Collections Online site over the next few weeks at: http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/category/collections-online/ ...if anyone is interested.

Cheers

Phil

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

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Re: Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

I would be interested in how you develop the module as well. We are currently using our Narratives for recording artist interviews and have not developed it beyond that. We have been struggling with where to place such information and have decided to test the Narratives for this.

Once developed, do you plan on using the Narratives to push information to the web or use it for internal purposes for exhibitions? We put all of the description information on our exhibitions directly in the Events module and then post for internal use. Curious to see how other institutions are developing the module.

Maureen

Maureen Tucker
Indianapolis Museum of Art

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Re: Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

Hi Maureen,

We were having the same conversation in our operations meeting this morning as to the pros and cons of using the narratives module to manage the presentation of exhibition documentation for our soon to be launched website.

I too would be keen to hear what the benefits are of using narratives to manage events style content for the web.

Gavin Thiesfield
Communications Designer
Old Government House - Interpretative Centre / William Robinson Gallery
Queensland Univeristy of Technology (QUT)
Brisbane, Australia

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Re: Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

Hi All,

It may interest some of you to learn that I will be running a discussion group on the Narratives Module at the North American EMu Users Group in Minnesota next month.

It seems that a number of institutes are facing similar quandries as ourselves when it comes to starting out with Narratives. Whilst the Module offers undeniable flexibility, this in turn has the potential to create an administration headache when trying to develop consistency across an institution.

Using an audio-visual, social history, knowledge archiving project, called Museum Lives, as an example I hope to develop an exciting and useful exchange of ideas.

Look forward to seeing some of you there.

Dave Smith
Petrology Collections Manager
Natural History Museum, London

Dave Smith
Earth Sciences Data Manager
Natural History Museum, London

David Smith
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Re: Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

Hi Philip,

I've been looking at the World War I Topic on your website (and reading the Collections On-line Tour on the blog), and have been trying to interpret how it all works. I think what you have achieved is fabulous! There is a seamless link between the collection objects and the contextual information about them. And, if you don't mind, we may model some of our navigation on your website.

Here at the NHM we are having cross-museum discussions to work out a web template for delivering Collections Level Descriptions through the Narrative Module. The parent-child and associations relationships are easy to model, but it is clear from navigating about your site that you have included links to other modules, and that these links are qualified by the nature of the relationship to it.

In a bid to try and understand how your website works and learn a little more of what is possible with narratives, I have a number of specific questions. I hope you don't mind me bombaring you with these, and I really hope you don't mind revealing the 'secrets' behind what you have done? Thanks.

Starting with the WWI Topic at (http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/Theme.aspx?irn=647)

1. Presumably the topics listed below such as "Medals from the Great War", "The after care of disabled soldiers" are child narratives? What field are you using to show the precis?

Clicking on one of these (e.g. "November 1918: Peace in Europe and influenza worldwide") takes you to that child narrative.

2. Are you displaying the large image from an attached multimedia or from the multimedia of the 1st object attached on the Objects Tab?

Now on this child narrative thare are a number of interesting links with qualified relationships:

a) Related People and Organisations - these presumably are links to Party records?

b) Related Places e.g. "Levin" which links off to a 'Term' page containing Lat-Long information and reference to the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic names.

c) Related categories; those qualified as being 'part of' appear to run a high level search in the Catalogue; whilst those qualified as 'refers to' takes you to a 'Term' page which appears to provide a definition for the term (and a Thesaurus source) and also gives you the option to view related parent or child categories.

Going back to the Related people and Organisations, if we follow the link to 'Adkin, Leslie' we see information displayed from her Party record (date of birth, date of death, nationality etc). We also see links off to other Party record that she had 'association with'. And we see links off to 'Term' pages for the place she was 'born in' and 'died in'.

3. Are these 'Term' pages a special kind of Narrative hierarchy? Or is this driven from the Thesaurus? My guess is the latter since you can have several hundred 'related objects' associated with a Term. It would be easier to create and maintain this structure using the Thesaurus - Catalogue association than using the Narratives - Catalogue association. True? It's certainly got me thinking about how we may categorise our collections in different ways to reach out to different research groups.

4. At the bottom of each page are links off to related objects. In some instances you have several tens of thumbnails. Are these really physically attached to the narrative? Or are you parsing terms into a query to pull in the catalogue links?

5. Are you using the Classification tab in any way?

I really like the way you have qualified the relationships between pieces of information. This successfully provides the user the context of the information they are viewing in relation to the previous page. The 'Relationship Type filters' are particularly good when viewing the photography. I'm assuming you have had some customisation to insert a lookup field within the various attachment tables to acheive this? Correct?

Finally, and thank you for bearing with me, is there any advice you could offer us (and indeed any institution) about to embark on designing a Narrative-driven website. We've had several brainstorming sessions to tease out things like:
- 'what role does the purpose, keywords and description type have, and can we define a controlled vocabulary?',
- 'what kind of question might the audience want answered and how can we facilitate this?'
- 'how do we navigate between records?'
- 'are there innovative ways can we display the information?'.

We should be soon getting our ideas down into a rough requirements document to discuss with our web team. It would be useful if you could share any words of advice.

many many thanks in advance


Dave Smith
Natural History Museum

Dave Smith
Earth Sciences Data Manager
Natural History Museum, London

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Re: Online exhibits using EMu Narratives and Catalog

Hi Dave

Thanks very much for the feedback and glad you like the approach weve taken - which Im hoping is just the beginning...

Ive tried to address your questions in the attached document - hope my response makes sense and happy to clarify anything.

The key to our approcah, which may not be evident from the surface in Collections Online, is that we have heavily customised the EMu Thesaurus Module so that it works in the same way as other EMu modules i.e by turning it into an attachment module with irns. Currently, the standard EMu Thesaurus Module retains no links between records e.g between a record in the catalogue and a record in the Thesaurus module. Changing the Thesaurus module to be an attachment module allows us to use the thesaurus terms as information resources in their own right, as pivot points to browse to related content....and of course utilise the hierarchical nature of the term relationships.

KE might like to comment on whether they plan on offering this variant of the module to other clients, but of course there are a number of issues to consider if you wanted to go down that path (e.g. existing data etc)

Cheers
Phil

Philip Edgar
Manager Collection Information Services
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Attachment: TEPAPA_n302896_v1_Response_to_Natural_History_Muse

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