digital strategies and new archives: developing digital archival access at the national maritime...

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Presentation by Fiona Romeo, National Maritime Museum. Given at the London Museum Librarians and Archivists Group conference "Not Museum Pieces" 10 September 2009.


  • 1. Scale and prioritisation (photo by Flickr memberDominique Pipet)

2. Layered access model (photo by Flickr memberRghrous) 3. Resource discovery layer 4. Digital surrogacy 5. Context and interpretation 6. Context and interpretation Ref Proposed criteria Methodology for assessment A Social inclusion (to improve access or reach new audiences) Objects can be compared against specific areas of interest, e.g. immigration B Documented user need (e.g. frequently requested items, items nominated by users in consultation, matches top subjects searched for on the museums website)

  • analysis of search terms across NMM
  • external consultation (e.g. through blogs)
  • frequently-requested items
  • primary sources with family-history appeal

C Reduce need for physical access to object

  • if on-site storage is impossible,
  • fragility of object,
  • concerns over security

D Wide/popular appeal for a non-specialist audience

  • high-profile stories (e.g. Titanic, Scott, Shackleton)
  • human-interest stories

E Synchronisation with museum programmes (e.g. learning programmes, exhibitions, research initiatives)

  • comparison with exhibition masterplan
  • comparison with curatorial research strategy
  • comparison with learning programmes


  • Pilots
  • The Commons on Flickr
  • Data mining and information visualisation
  • Syndication on Europeana

8. 1. The Commons on Flickr 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 2. Data mining and visualisation 15. 16. 3. Syndication to Europeana 17.

  • Strategies
  • Invite the public to contribute their knowledge to our collections
  • Use automated textual analysis, where practical
  • Link 3D and 2D collections via subjects, people, vessels, place and date,e.g. interpreting crew lists through the relevant ship plans, charts, and historic photographs
  • Embrace different levels of interpretation from stub catalogue entries, to full entries, digital surrogates, and narratives
  • Develop an open license for all NMM content, and syndicate widely

18. Case study: warship histories


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