Library guidesSubject: Multidisciplinary
DigiLab: Bank of good digital practices UOC-Museu Nacional
This dossier is a collection of good practices in the field of digital strategy led by national and international cultural institutions. It includes not only general elements but also specific cases of good uses of digital elements such as apps, games and social media.
As per Museums and the Web: “Art Detective aims to improve knowledge of the UK’s public art collection. It is a free-to-use online network that connects public art collections with members of the public and providers of specialist knowledge. With Art Detective, anyone can help public art collections across the United Kingdom enhance painting information, uncovering attributions and solve mysteries – through public discussions. Launched in March 2014, Art Detective comprises a digital network built on top of the Public Catalogue Foundation’s (PCF) existing art object database. Art Detective is accessed through the Your Paintings website and the PCF website. Contributors include academics, the art trade, specialist curators, retired practitioners and informed members of the public. Anyone is able to follow the discussions and registered users are able to suggest a discussion, or comment on discussions. Significant improvements have been made to the UK’s public art collection since launching the website: so far over 100 discussions produced more than 40 discoveries. The aim is to engage people with specialist knowledge in a series of public discussions. Anyone, not only art historians, can participate and provide valuable clues.”
As per Museums and the Web: “In 2012, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) launched an effort to transparently and continuously monitor the long-term engagement of visitors with the museum. Dubbed DMA Friends, the approach emphasizes the repeat participation of visitors with the museum’s collections and programs, offering customized rewards in return for frequent engagement. This scalable and flexible digital platform gives the museum the ability to track individual activity, with nearly fifty thousand unique visitors joining in the first year.”
Website of the Museo del Prado, whose main information is available in 12 languages. It is easy to browse, with a logical and intuitive structure that allows you to move comfortably through its contents. According to Conxa Rodà on the MNAC blog: “The new website of the Museo del Prado is an excellent example of how to connect the collection, the knowledge and the public. The network of interrelations between artworks’ records, the images, videos, talks, biographies, history, etc., offer very enriched and contextualised approaches of the works, the artists and the periods. All in all, this is a semantic web that takes advantage in an intelligent way of all the capital of data of the museum in an integrated way.” Notable additions to the new museum website include three important elements: free-to-download resources, both for families and students; the varied range of information with several browsers, specific information on each piece in the permanent exhibition, online access to the museum’s encyclopaedia and specific sections such as A Fondo, where expanded details on different pieces of the collection will be gradually added; and high-resolution images of the works, allowing you to zoom in on the details through the online gallery.
As per Museums and the Web: “The Royal Academy (RA) isn’t really a museum, even though it can feel like one – it’s a collection of artists, rather than a collection of objects. Being led by artists immediately gives the RA an anti-establishment edge, which might not be apparent from our grand building. The RA still consists of the UK’s first art school, one of the most popular exhibition venues, and a society of about 100 of the most prominent artists and architects – the Royal Academicians – from David Hockney to Zaha Hadid. But our website lagged behind – laid out around the structure of the organisation rather than the user’s needs and interests, hiding the best content away, and offering a limited picture of what the RA does. We worked with the pioneers of user-centred design, IDEO. Collaborating with the newly-established RA Digital Team, they workshopped, interviewed, prototyped and ideated an experience that would place people and storytelling at the heart of our digital presence. As befits a visual arts organisation, we placed the designer at the heart of the innovation process: considering strategy and business plans and delving into the heart of the problem at hand, rather than just making something beautiful.”
The Victoria & Albert Museum website was updated in 2016 and made available in various languages (English, German, Spanish and Italian, among others). The idea is for the V&A to bring the museum experience to an online audience. They want to publicize their collections, exhibitions, activities, experiences and ideas beyond the four walls of the museum. Kati Price, V&A Head of Digital Media said in an interview in 2016, “the goal for this phase of our digital transformation is to turn more of the 14.5 million visits to our website each year into visits to the Museum. We also want to define the V&A brand online. We now use much larger, richer imagery, so there is a better balance between text and image. There is a bolder use of the brand and logo. It’s not a refresh, it’s a rebuild. We’ve created a new editorial tool (a content management system) and a new website from scratch. The new site has been built by the V&A’s Digital Media team with product innovation consultancy Made by Many using open source software (Ruby on Rails)”.
Collection / Catalogue
Connections is an initiative organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the course of a whole year (2011). For 12 months numerous professionals from the entire museum were invited to provide their personal perspectives through audio and video on artworks from the Met’s vast collection. One of the most curious aspects is that these guides through the collection were not taken from the perspective of the history of art but rather from a subjective and personal approach (from the most informal viewpoint to the most complex). The individual responses of each person on these objects created new ways of understanding the incredible treasures of the MET. The project sought to establish these varied connections with different artworks. Using all the audio and video compiled, an online archive was created, which is still accessible.
As per Digital Meets Culture per Museums and the Web, “As a prelude to its reopening 13 April 2013, the Rijksmuseum, launched ‘Rijks Studio’, a ground-breaking new online presentation of 125,000 works belonging to its collection. Rijks Studio invites members of the public to create their own masterpieces by downloading images of artworks or details of artworks in the collection and using them in a creative way. The ultra high-resolution images of works, both famous and less well-known, can be freely downloaded, zoomed in on, shared, added to personal ‘studios’, or manipulated copyright-free. Users can have prints made of entire works of art or details from them. This is therefore a large digital database that works as a kind of social network where you can share, create and edit artwork.”
As per Museums and the Web, “The Living Collections Catalogue is an online publishing project [launched by the Walker Art Center in 2014 and funded by the Getty Foundation] dedicated to scholarly research on the Walker’s renowned multidisciplinary collections. The Catalogue is an on-going serial publication that provides scholars and enthusiasts access to unique documents, original interpretation, and rich media resources about select artworks from the Collections. Each volume of the Living Collections Catalogue includes media-rich essays on broader themes as well as in-depth investigations of specific works of art. Implicit in the concept of a ‘living catalogue’ is the dynamic nature of an online volume: la Information in the database is updated as new research and presentations occur, while essays are versioned and citable with assurances of a permanent address to the information referenced.” And as per the Walker Art Center, “new technologies and features will be added as new volumes are released. The designs adopt a visual aesthetic for navigation and page layouts blending the best qualities of the book, magazine, and online forms.”
As per Museums and the Web, Operation War Diary is a “collaboration between Imperial War Museums, the National Archives and Zooniverse, to tag and classify the daily diaries of all British Army infantry units on the Western Front, 1914-1918. The full archive comprises 1.5 million pages of daily reports, detailing army activities, casualties and movements.” As per the Operation War Diary website, “The war diaries are made up of a variety of different types of pages, including cover pages, title pages, orders, signals, maps, narrative reports and the main diary pages themselves.” The project seeks to reveal details from within the diaries, using the same technology used to classify the stars. The platform includes an online system that allows anonymous citizens to easily and comfortably work on the archives, talk about their impressions and see what other users are contributing. Participants will be able to tag the key elements (places, dates, names) to facilitate future searches. The project is the first attempt to examine the Western Front in detail through research open to citizen collaboration. They hope to build a community of “citizen historians” who work with historians from several universities to respond to previously unasked questions about the war.
Aspects and challenges related to the development of digital resources for art-historical research. As per the Digital Humanities website, the main aims of the Digital Mellini project are: “To explore new methods and tools with which to reinvent the concept of scholarly work and critical publishing in the field of humanities, particularly in the context of art history, in which the convergence of text and image is essential and provides an interesting context for research – a context that has not yet been adequately investigated. To create a methodological model for developing collaborative digital publications that incorporate texts, digital facsimiles, images, computational tools for linguistic analysis and visual communication, and forums for exchanging ideas and sharing knowledge. The ultimate goal is that the international community of specialists can utilize this methodological model and apply to a variety of art-historical projects. These objectives can be seen within the framework of the recent growing interest that many of us in the art-historical community have in response to the challenges offered by the digital society.”
As per Museums and the Web, VanGoYourself “is designed to help you to discover and engage with paintings from around the world in a new way. It allows you to recreate classic scenes from some of world’s most famous paintings in a contemporary setting, which you can then share with your friends on social media. This responsive platform features works from Masters such as Van Gogh or Rembrandt, with over seventy paintings from more than twenty three different museums and galleries. The project was launched during Museums at Night festival in May 2014 in London.
Multimedia: video, streaming, podcast
As per Museums and the Web, “The Classless Society interactive feature is a tablet- and mobile-ready rich media complement to the exhibition Classless Society, which was on view from Sept. 7, 2013, to March 9, 2014, at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA. The museum exhibition features 20 artists whose work touches on issues of class. Images of all the artwork are included with the interactive feature. The feature, however, delves deeper into the issues surrounding class through essays based on a wealth of scholarly research; statistics that graphically reveal disparities based on such things as race, urban vs. rural populations, family income, gender and nationality; and anonymous quotations from interview subjects, which allows them the safety to share personal experiences of class and how it intersects with notions of gender, race and ethnicity. The site gives viewers an easy-to-use and dynamic means to interact with the Classless Society exhibit in a way that is unique for a small museum.”
As per Museums and the Web, “The Stinks, Bangs & Booms website traces the rise and fall of the American chemistry set starting at its inception in 1791, through its subsequent heyday (1920-1960), decline (1960-1979), and recent resurgence. Working collaboratively with Philadelphia’s Chemical Heritage Foundation—and inspired by their robust research—Bluecadet conceptualized and developed an engaging online interface that chronicles the chemistry set and its colorful history. The timeline is guided by succinct slides of text, seamlessly integrated with entertaining, enlightening multimedia elements including vintage science videos, historic artwork, photographs, documents, music, and more. Influential chemists and teachers come to life through spoken audio, while subtle animations and transitions create an elegant, cinematic effect. Far from a passive educational experience, the website encourages interaction throughout: clicking an arrow to flip from screen to screen, cracking a digital egg or pulling a curtain to find answers, (safely) exploring a set’s banned chemicals, and sharing the journey via social media. In addition to serving as a stand-alone online experience, the website is intended to enhance the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s exhibition of the same name—building advance buzz for its opening in 2015 while collecting user data.
TateShots is a podcast with short video and audio recordings (under 5 minutes) distributed online via the Tate’s website. They include short interviews with artists, visits to studios, commentaries by artists on other artists, presentations of Tate exhibitions and other events taking place at the museums. As per Museums and the Web, “iTunes listed TateShots in its ‘Top 10 Best New VideoPodcasts of 2007’. It receives very high viewing and download figures and is making Tate's exhibitions and events programme available to a much wider, international audience, while giving artists a platform to speak directly to the public. Costs to produce each 5-minute film are relatively low, coming in at under £500 on average. Sponsored by Bloomberg.
As per the komando.com website, “Web-based interactive timelines are available for you to view that capture the events of September 11, 2001, and the nine months following at Ground Zero. It even goes back as far as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Images, audio and video are used in the timelines as well as first-person accounts. These are all part of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum’s permanent collection.” As per the 9/11 Memorial website, “the 9/11 Interactive Timeline was designed by Archetype and engineered by Infusion for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum”.
As per Museums and the Web, “The Fondation Louis Vuitton wants children aged 6 to 12 visiting the new Frank Gehry-designed museum with their families and friends to ‘look up’ at the building and become ‘apprentice architects’. [They have designed interactive games for kids to explore the building and create their own Frank Gehry-inspired designs]. The app ArchiMoi is focused on architecture to let the parents and/or the guides introduce the artworks to the children. Visitors are able to borrow a device from our welcome desk on arrival at no cost. The app was launched with the opening of the museum and is also available free on the Apple App Store in French and English.”
As per the National Theatre, “NT Learning gives everyone the chance to discover new skills and experience the excitement of theatre, through inspiring projects at the National Theatre, in schools and with people of all ages across the UK.” It has sections with specialist resources for primary, secondary and further education, alongside resources for talks, courses, workshops, events, plays and activities for families. The National Theatre, founded in 1963, is the national theatre of Great Britain. The theatre’s current building, designed by Denys Lasdun, is in London’s South Bank area.
EducaThyssen is the name of the portal of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza's education department and programme. In other words, it encompasses all the education programmes and other actions involving interpretation, information and mediation support between visitors and the Museum.
EducaThyssen actions are mainly developed following three educational lines: formal education, non-formal education and specialized training. All these lines cater for visitors with diverse educational needs.
Although the first EducaThyssen website dates back to 2001 and the second version was launched in 2009, the current website was produced in 2017 and has a responsive design made with the free software Drupal.
The EducaThyssen portal, along with providing access to the public programmes for adults and children, also features projects promoted by this department such as Musaraña, a resource community for innovative teachers (with over 200 resources); Nubla, a section about museums, education and video games (with six games developed); ARCHES, a lab of inclusive environments; and Nos+Otras, a project of collaboration and creation for groups of women. Moreover, the portal includes over 1,000 educational videos and around 50 publications for consultation.
As per the Spanish Wikipedia, “It is the free access European digital library, whose prototype became operational on 20 November 2008 and brings together digitalized contributions by prestigious cultural institutions of the 28 EU Member States. It seeks to be a portal of digitalized European culture offering easy access to the user. From the technical point of view, Europeana is the European cultural heritage portal that began with two million digital objects and whose collection reached 29 million documents in 2013, provided by around 2,300 institutions comprising libraries, archives, galleries and museums. The collection consists of a wide variety of documents in 45 languages: books, newspapers, magazines, letters, diaries, archive documents, paintings, maps, drawings, photographs, music, recorded oral tradition, radio broadcasts, films and television programmes. The main function of Europeana is to provide access to European cultural and scientific heritage. All the library contents have the Creative Commons Public Domain (CCO) licence, which means they are copyright-free and all the material can be used for reproduction on any medium or to develop new contents.”
As per the bienvenidoalclub.es website, “This is a website that provides a compilation of high-resolution images from collections and artworks exhibited in various museums around the world, as well as a virtual tour of the museums/galleries that hold them. The project was introduced by Google on 1 February 2011 with 1,061 works from 17 museums, including the Tate Britain in London, the Met in New York, and the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. The museum exploration function uses the same technology as Google Street View. Although all the works are shown in high resolution, each of the 17 institutions involved in initiating the project made one of its masterpieces available to be photographed and exhibited on the site in 7,000 megapixel images.” And as per the Spanish Wikipedia, “On 17 July 2016, the project was re-launched as Google Arts & Culture, which includes a mobile app that provides access to the contents of over 1,000 museums in 70 countries.”
Under its umbrella, several initiatives have been carried out, such as the following: ICUB Wiki-Project: Between 2012 and 2015 the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona carried out a joint project with Amical Wikimedia. It sought to promote the knowledge created in the museums and heritage centres that form part of the Barcelona City Council's Institut de Cultura. Museu de la Música de Barcelona Wiki-Project: Since 2013 the Museu de la Música de Barcelona has worked with Wikipedia on a project whose main objective is to expand and improve entries related to the world of instruments, Catalan luthiers and women composers. GLAM-Wiki: Galleries • Libraries • Archives • Museums The Children´s Museum of Indianapolis: From September to May 2011, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis carried out the first phase of a joint project with Wikimedia appointing Lori Phillips in the role of Wikipedian-in-Residence. This was the second Wikipedian-in-Residence after Liam Wyatt's pilot project at the British Museum, and is the longest residence to date. In June 2011, Phillips was employed as a web content specialist, continuing the work of the museum with Wikimedia through new long-term projects.
As per Museum and the Web, “The Field Guides to Australian Fauna are a suite of eight apps, one for each state and territory in Australia. They are available for Apple and Android devices, and optimised for both tablet and mobile phone screen sizes. They are free to download and have no in-app purchases. This is an example of museums producing apps that can be used anywhere, and don’t require users to visit a museum venue to enjoy and find value in the content. The development of the apps was a nation-wide collaborative venture bringing together scientists, photographers and educators from Australia’s leading natural history museums: Museums Victoria Australian Museum Museum & Art Gallery of Northern Territory Queensland Museum South Australian Museum Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery Western Australian Museum The Field Guides to Australian Fauna suite of apps can be used by everyone, everywhere – from families in their own backyards, to students on school excursions, to tourists in national parks. Together they feature over 2100 animals, including mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles, frogs and invertebrates from terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.”
As per Museums and the Web, “Over five nights in August 2014, the public logged-on to the After Dark web app to take a space-age tour through 500 years of British art. Equipped with cameras, the robots’ journeys were watched by thousands of people world-wide via the internet. A few lucky people, chosen at random, were given the opportunity to actually control a robot themselves, navigating their own journey round Tate Britain’s historic building and collection. Designed specifically for this task, the robots were fitted with a camera and bespoke lights for eyes, with the ability to look up and down to view the full range of art on display. Using on-screen buttons or the arrow keys on a keyboard, their operators could turn 360 degrees and move forward. The robots could sense obstacles around them with the use of ultrasound technology and they fed this information back to the operator, helping them to navigate the galleries.”
As per the Cleveland Museum of Art, “The new ArtLens app is a completely re-engineered version of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s award-winning collection application. Despite maintaining the same name, the new ArtLens is a comprehensive overhaul of the app that was completed in two phases, with the first launch in September 2016 and the latest launch in June 2017. ArtLens is now faster and more user friendly. [It uses] iBeacons throughout the museum and outside to improve accuracy and eliminate the need for paper maps. ArtLens combines the most current technology and innovative design with a wealth of interpretive content provided by the museum’s curatorial and interpretation teams. ArtLens includes a high-definition image and object information about every artwork on display in the museum and is updated in real time, ensuring that users have access to the most accurate information available. ArtLens enhances the visitor’s museum experience by providing the option to design individual tours, offering tools to better understand artwork through augmented reality, and guiding users with interactive real-time maps.” It is available for Apple and Android devices for free.
Beacons are an important step within geolocalization. This is a low-energy technology comprising power sensors via Bluetooth that are included in physical objects and which can detect the active presence of visitors in any cultural institution (museums, libraries, bookshops, theatres, art galleries, etc.) thanks to a specific mobile app for them. These sensors share information with the user’s app when they identify their proximity. Beacon technology is recent and there are not yet many examples but we should note the case of the National Museum of Wales. As per its website, “National Museum Wales (Amgueddfa Cymru) is the first national museum in the world to trial the Culture and Heritage Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology (Apple iBeacon), in partnership with People’s Collection Wales and the Locly (app and platform). The programme is being trialled at one of Amgueddfa Cymru’s sites — the National Slate Museum in Llanberis — and will enable visitors to discover more about the collections on their mobile devices as they walk around the site. 25 iBeacons have been placed around the National Slate Museum. Through this particular programme, visitors will receive information from the National Slate Museum and People’s Collection Wales on their mobile devices as they go around the Museum, discovering and interacting with the exhibits.”
As per Museums and the Web, “SFMOMA closed its doors on June 2, 2013 for an expansion. The closure presented a vast new arena in which to focus: the world outside the museum and online.” This led the team to develop #PlayArtfully, an innovative online marketing campaign involving “a series of tiny games, activated through social media, that encouraged players to look at the world around them in new and creative way, enriching the perception of the museum and the arts as a catalyst for play and participation”.
Nubla is a project that connects the world of art and video games. A meeting space for joint creation and learning formed by a team of university youths from the visual arts, humanities, design and sound mediated by the EducaThyssen Department and the company Gammera Nest.
This video game provides a way of rethinking the Museum through the intensive use of technology and digital narratives as part of a long-term and creatively intensive education process.
According to its developers, "it is the first video game in history to be endorsed by a museum and developed for the PlayStation platform. Nubla is a graphic adventure, a journey through the dormant world behind the works of the Museo Thyssen. It is an educational project, understood as the dissemination of knowledge. The game does not feature theoretical texts or details about of works included; it is not a classically educational video game. We explore the video game narrative to address subjects in the history of art and to explore concepts and ideas such as creativity, memory or borders in an interactive, gamified and engaging way so that players feel attracted by the world they are exploring and want to know more."
At present, the second part of the video game is being developed: M. La ciudad en el centro del mundo.
Social networks and blogs
The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) began a blog in April 2014 available in three languages: English, Spanish and Catalan. It is updated by a team of museum members and contributors every Thursday. As it says in the About section of the blog, “Each week we’ll discuss experiences, present behind the scenes, share processes and knowledge about our art collection. Plurality of authors from the museum’s team will ensure we offer a diversity of topics and perspectives. We’ll appreciate your comments!” As described by its instigator and co-author Conxa Rodà (Head of Digital Strategy and Communication at MNAC), “for me the blog is an essential tool in the museum’s communications strategy because it allows what is not possible on the website: a more personal account of the museum’s day-to-day routine, giving a more personal voice to the people who work in it… but it is true that it requires far more editorial work than the social media.”
Bitàcola is the name of the blog in Catalan created by the library of the Museu Marítim de Barcelona, a tool designed to promote and disseminate knowledge about maritime history and culture. This blog mainly publicises the innovations, news and activities of the museum library, part of the Collections and Knowledge Management Department.
As per Museums and the Web, “Horniman Museum and Gardens [ran] a major project from 2012 to 2015 to review our anthropology collections, which number about 80,000 objects from many countries and cultures around the world. In this project called Collections People Stories, we [wished] to learn a lot more about our collections, ensuring that we hold accurate and relevant data on them. Through this process, we also [wished] to explore new ways to communicate the stories relating to our collections to our audiences and new audiences. To highlight the interesting, unusual and fascinating objects uncovered during our project, we started an account on social networking site Tumblr in September 2012. The site is updated by staff working directly on the collections review, making visible a process which many museums do but seldom share with the wider public. We wanted to enthuse, excite, intrigue and fascinate others by sharing our enthusiasm, excitement and wonder about our museum collections.”
The 1840s GIF Party was a digital mass participatory project that invited members of the public (notably the Tumblr community) to transform selected artworks from the 1840s gallery at Tate Britain into animated GIFs. The 500+ submissions were then shown in the gallery alongside the original artworks at a Late at Tate event, with over 2,500 visitors.
As per the Skift website, “Philadelphia’s top art museums are turning their ancient exhibits into popular Instagram posts for 13 weeks this summer. Five area museums will post a photo of an item tied to a different summer theme like ‘School’s Out’ or ‘Under the Sun’ in an effort to raise awareness of their collections and woo visitors. This is the first time the museums will work together to encourage visits via social media. Participating museums include Philadelphia Museum of Art (@philamuseum), The Barnes Foundation (@barnesfoundation), Penn Museum (@pennmuseum), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (@pafacademy), and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (@philaflowershow) The museums chose Instagram because they wanted to share engaging visuals on a platform where separate museums and attendees could contribute to project. All related photos can be found using the #SummerWithArt hashtag.”
Shield5 is a police drama, where the lead character John Swift has to try to prove his innocence following the death of his colleague during a diamond heist. This series doesn’t stand out for its script, but for the medium chosen. The 28 15-second episodes were posted on Instagram daily at 5 pm from 1 February 2016. In total, this mini-series lasted 7 minutes, though the same equipment for a standard series was used. Alongside the short videos, the team also posted a photo to highlight and clarify plot twists or provide extra information about a character’s past.
Many cultural institutions are continuously active on Pinterest. One of them is the Museu Nacional d´Art de Catalunya (MNAC): on its Pinterest account it has 21 boards about its collection divided into themes such as art selfies, dance, theatre, female artists, still lifes, sports or dragons, among others.
Facebook is the social media network par excellence: in 2016 the number of active users of this social media network was far above the rest (with over 1.871 billion active users per month). The Museum of London has a fan page on Facebook. Through this platform, the institution promotes news, activities or diverse information about the museum (presenting an average of two or three publications a day). Moreover, the museum has conducted several communications campaigns, such as #LondonView: every week a question was asked about the city of London and the most outstanding answers were selected. In terms of numbers of followers, the fan page of this museum now has over 130,000 fans, while the Twitter account has only 103,000.
Rembrandt’s account on Facebook
While undergoing reforms in 2012, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam launched a video to promote its fan page on Facebook. This video ironically reproduces what today, in the 21st century, would be the personal Facebook account of the painter Rembrandt. On the imaginary timeline of Rembrandt, comments could appear next to his most famous works such as “I made a self-portrait, tell me what you think!” or "Look what Johannes [Vermeer] did" (pointing to The Milk Maid), “...and he already has over 5,000 Likes”.
The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) opened on 25 February 1994 in Barcelona, Spain. It was born as a multidisciplinary institution devoted to the study of cities and everything to do with them. Located in the Raval district, its main subjects are the city and urban culture. Its mission is to link the academic world with creation and citizenship.
The CCCB Lab is a department of the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. It was founded in 2010 and is devoted to research, transformation and innovation in the cultural field. Its objectives are to research and propose lines of content and formats to present them publicly, as a commitment to open knowledge in line with the current social and cultural context. Its blog features thought-provoking articles, videoconferences and reports by specialists in areas such as cultural innovation, relations between science and culture, expanded education, virtual environments, data journalism and big data.
As per Museums and the Web, “The Immersion Room on the second floor of the new Cooper Hewitt uses digital and projection technologies to bring the museum’s collection of wallcoverings, the largest and most significant in North America to life. Visitors can browse hundreds of high-resolution digitized wallpapers and see them projected at full-scale, floor-to-ceiling on the surrounding walls. Visitors can also sketch their own designs, adjusting color palettes and manipulating repeat patterns, that are projected on the walls. Selected wallcoverings are accompanied by brief audio commentary with designers, who share design insights and inspiration.”
As per The Independent, “Working in collaboration with Sketchfab, an online platform that lets users share and download 3D scans, the British Museum has created 14 3D models of busts, statues and sarcophagi from its collection for anyone to download and print at home. [Some of these pieces also have audio descriptions and can be viewed using virtual reality devices.] The museum’s ‘first downloadable collection’ includes a granite head of Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat III from the 12th Dynasty (around 1800 BC), a stone figure of the Aztec god Ziuhcoatl (created around 1325-1521 AD) and a marble bust of Zeus of 1 century origin that is described as ‘found/acquired’ from Roman emperor Hadrian’s Villa.”
Smithsonian X 3D is a project that makes available to users a set of 3D models of pieces from its collection reproduced very realistically and now accessible to the public through an online 3D exploration tool. This project allows users to get close to the objects on their computer screen and examine them in great detail and from all angles thanks to 3D technology (you can turn the elements, zoom, isolate their different components, measure them with integrated tools and create specific views that can be shared on social media). Users can also download and print these historic images in 3D.
As per the Cleveland Museum of Art, “The ArtLens Wall, formerly the Collection Wall, a 40-foot interactive, multitouch, MicroTile wall, displays in real time all works of art from the permanent collection currently on view in the galleries—between 4,200 and 4,500 artworks at any given time. In addition, the Collection Wall displays thematic groupings that may include highlighted artworks currently on loan as well as select light-sensitive artworks that are in storage. The ArtLens Wall facilitates discovery and dialogue with other visitors and can serve as an orientation experience, allowing visitors to download existing tours or create their own tours to take out into the galleries on their iOS or Android device. The largest such screen in the United States, The ArtLens Wall enables visitors to connect with objects in the collection in a playful and original way, making their visit a more powerful personal experience. Its display transitions every 40 seconds to keep things interesting—grouping artworks by theme and type, such as time period or materials and techniques, as well as by 32 curated views of the collection.”
As per Museums and the Web, “POP BOOK is an interactive installation freely set up for visitors in the lobby of Fondation Louis Vuitton, a contemporary art center designed by Frank Gehry and located in Paris, which opened to public in October 2014. Any visitor can draw by hand a personal message on a touchscreen and add a decoration to the background or a picture of themselves. The message is then virtually sent to the Fondation as a bottle would be thrown into the sea, joining the gallery of unique visual messages created by others visitors. The POP BOOK is a funny, agile and amusing tool. It’s akin to the participatory and creative applications such as “Yom”, “Instagram” and “Snapchat”, which promote rapid and instant posting. This device is suitable for visitors who don’t wish to leave a note write in the paper guestbook, but still want to send a simple and informal message, or simply wish to have fun before leaving the museum. Visitors can record feelings, impressions, a grin, a word, a drawing, a brief outline, whatever they wish to share. Visitors can at any time retrieve their creations on a personal URL, or on the POP BOOK’s Facebook app. Our communication department will periodically share a selection of the best contributions on the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s various social media outlets.
Analysis / Dashboard
As the Smithsonian Institute, “As a public trust, the Smithsonian is committed to using data and empirical evidence to assess its performance and report results to its stakeholders. The Dashboard presents metrics used to assess performance results and organizational accountability across the major programs and functions of the Institution, as well as numbers that tell the story of the Smithsonian’s amazing scope and reach. Metrics are organized under three major areas where the Smithsonian carries out its mission – the increase and diffusion of knowledge: Research: We create knowledge through high-impact research in science, art, history, and culture. National Collections: We preserve our national and natural heritage, as well as aspects of other cultures, by caring for and expanding the National Collections. Public Engagement: We share knowledge with the public on-site, online, and across the nation and world through compelling exhibitions, educational programs, and media products. People and Operations: Our mission-supporting functions. One Smithsonian: Qualitative examples of interdisciplinary and cross-Smithsonian activities that bridge the other areas and tackle big issues.
After being director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Maxwell Anderson began work at the Dallas Museum of Art with a clear idea: the importance of the digital world. Just as he had done in Indianapolis before, he decided to create a dashboard or information panel. Finally launched in 2012, this tool allows the museum to offer a degree of institutional transparency, showing in-house information of public interest. The information includes diverse statistics in real time related to different themes such as the artworks, the building, finances, fundraising, technology or visitors. It includes interesting facts and figures such as the number of employees, insurance on the collection or the size of the collection, as well as other more trivial statistics.
As per mtchl.net, “The Visible Archive was a research project on the visualisation of archival datasets, supported by the National Archives of Australia under the 2008 Ian Maclean Award. As part of this work [Mitchell Whitelaw, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra] developed two prototype visualisations of the Archives collection: the Series Browser, visualising all 65,000 archival series in the collection; and the A1 Explorer, showing some 64,000 records in series A1. For more see the Visible Archive blog, which now documents my ongoing research into ‘generous’ interfaces for digital cultural collections.”
Librarians responsible for this library guide
Bárbara BadellOperative subgroup: Librarian for Arts and Humanities, vocational training Operative group: Library for Learning