Resources

This is a list of resources relevant to the COREL project. We are continuing to post new resources as we become aware of them. We welcome suggestions of further resources/sites for inclusion in this list (please use our ‘Feedback‘ page).

Resource hosting, crowdsourcing and citizen science platforms

  • Zooniverse – ‘Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research.’
  • Micropasts – ‘a web platform that brings together full-time academic researchers, volunteer archaeological and historical societies and other interested members of the public to collaborate on new kinds of research about archaeology, history and heritage.’
  • Historypin – ‘Connecting communities with local history’. This site is ‘a place for people to share photos and stories, telling the histories of their local communities’. Essentially, it’s like Pinterest for historical images, videos and audio files. According to the website 65,000 individuals/community groups use it as well as 25,000 libraries/archives and museums. Among its many collections, compiled and presented by its members, is SHARE: The Deaf Visual Archive.
  • The Culture Grid – Formerly an aggregation platform for the digital collections of UK museums, archives and libraries, hosted by the Collections Trust (see below). Over seven years, it grew to contain some 3m records from around 200 UK institutions, and was regularly harvested by Europeana (see next entry). The Culture Grid closed to new accessions in April 2015, and now seems to be offline. In this important blog post, Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole explains the challenges that the service faced and the reasons for closing it down.

Online resource management and publishing tools

You can find reviews of the following free-of-charge, open source services on the blog of the Open Education Database website here.

  • Omeka – Developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, USA, this is a ‘free, open-source, digital publishing suite for scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, and cultural enthusiasts’. It offers a means to ‘publish archives, collections, exhibits, teaching materials; and provide ways for public audiences to interact with your sites.’ For a full, updated Omeka feature list, see this page.
  • Collective Access – ‘free open-source software for managing and publishing museum and archival collections.’ Its flexible cataloguing is designed ‘for describing all manner of things, and allows you to create catalogues that closely conform to your needs without custom programming.’ It comprises two main components: ‘Providence, the core cataloguing and data management application, and Pawtucket, an optional “front-end” publication and discovery platform.’
  • CollectionSpace – ‘a free, open-source, web-based software application for the description, management, and dissemination of museum collections information. The CollectionSpace team and community is made up of museum professionals, software engineers, and interaction designers.’
  • Open Exhibits – ‘Open Exhibits is an initiative that looks to transform the way in which museums and other informal learning institutions produce and share computer-based exhibits. Open Exhibits is both a collection of software and a growing community of practice.’ This project is concerned with the technologies that enable physical interaction between visitors and digital resources via input devices such as touch screens, Leap Motion Controller, Microsoft Kinect, TUIO, and more.
  • Pachyderm – ‘is an easy-to-use multimedia authoring tool. Designed for people who have little or no multimedia authoring experience, Pachyderm is accessed through a web browser and is as easy to use as filling out a web form.’

There is, of course, a large and growing market of paid-for services to support collection management, most of which include features enabling the creation of online exhibits. These include Modes, The Museum System (part of a suite that also includes eMuseum, ‘a web-based application … to dynamically publish information to your website, intranet, and kiosks’), Proficio (available with a Web Module for digital publishing), PastPerfect (with an add-on Virtual Exhibit) and Vernon CMS (with a Browser module for web, intranet and kiosk access to the collection database; the same company offers eHive as a more affordable platform for  smaller institutions and private individuals). Most of these services are formidably expensive, and this list is neither comprehensive nor implies any endorsement on our part. A fuller list of mainly paid-for services can be found on the Open Directory Project (now DMOZ) website here.

Organisations promoting online engagement and learning

  • NMC – ‘The NMC (historically the New Media Consortium) is an international community of experts in educational technology — from the practitioners who work with new technologies on campuses every day; to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning at think tanks, labs, and research centers; to its staff and board of directors; to the advisory boards and others helping the NMC conduct cutting edge research.’ Among many activities, it publishes an annual ‘Horizon Report‘, with editions for schools, universities, museums and libraries.
  • Museums Computer Group – ‘for museum, gallery, archive and higher education professionals who work with museum technologies and digital heritage.’ The organisation hosts events and conferences and runs an active discussion list.
  • The Collections Trust – ‘is the professional association for collections management. Established in 1977, it is a UK-based charity that works worldwide with museums, libraries, galleries and archives to improve the management and use of their collections. It does this by providing know-how, developing and promoting excellence, challenging existing practices, pioneering new ideas and bringing experts together.’ It formerly hosted the Culture Grid, a service helping museums, archives and heritage venues share their collections information online (for more information on this, and discussion of its closure, see first section above).
  • The Europeana Inside Network is an EU-funded consortium driving forward development of both the Europeana platform and its collections (see above). Its stated aims are (1) to increase Europeana content ‘to 960,000 records from 15 cultural heritage institutions and 5 aggregators with the support of Collection Management System developers’ throughout Europe (several of these developers are listed in the section above); and thereby (2) opening up ‘the potential for more than 7000 other cultural institutions […] to deliver content to Europeana simply and easily in the future, enabling a potential contribution of more than 30 million new records.’