By Paul Rowe
Vernon Systems Ltd
On Monday I presented Discovering New Zealand Museums at the Museums Association conference in London. The presentation was about the NZMuseums project, DigitalNZ,NZLive and eHive and how all the digital initiatives have worked so well together.
70 people attended the session with a very positive response at the end. Some generously commented that it was the highlight of the conference. As yet, there is no aggregation project with a similar scale of contributors in the United Kingdom. People were impressed with the grassroots promotion and support that had been provided by National Services Te Paerangi to get small museums on board.
There were several presentations at the conference on sharing of content around the Internet, but it was clear that in most countries the vast majority of volunteer run museums were still struggling with the first step in the digital life cycle: the creation of the content. Without the initial support to begin digitisation, many museums won’t have content to share on NZMuseums.
Andy Millard from Te Papa was on hand to give some enthusiastic comments about the impact of the website from Te Papa’s perspective and many people sought me out later in the conference to find out more information.
Thank you to all that played a part in NZMuseums to this point, including the museums and their collections, National Services Te Paerangi for driving the project, McGovern for the graphical design and layout of the website and DigitalNZ for their ongoing work shaping digital cultural content in New Zealand.