Discovering New Zealand Museums

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.

View the Discovering New Zealand Museums presentation

1 Comment

  1. Hello Paul, really sorry to have missed your session as that seminar was the main reason I booked up for the MA conference, but I had to go to an urgent meeting. I just want to add to your report that DigitalNZ is inspiring a similar initiative called Open Culture, including an aggregator called the Culture Grid. This in essence, is the digital strategy for the MLA sector in the UK. Yes, the creation of the content is still an issue for many bodies, but we have spent £200 million on digitising cultural content which is less accessible than it should be for lack of aggregation & channelling to markets. Open Culture aims to change all that and is gathering speed. Nick Poole, who curated your seminar on federation, is leading this initiative. Check out Nick’s presentation from the same seminar: and more about Open Culture on

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