More collections to join NZ Museums through DigitalNZ

As part of the redevelopment of NZ Museums, we’re changing how collections are shared on the site.

NZ Museums was launched in 2008 to enable small museums and galleries to have an online presence and share their digitised collections to a wider audience. Currently, this collection and directory site is home to over 95,000 digitised collection items from over 200 museums across the motu, and contains directory information for over 400 museums, galleries and whare taonga nationwide.

Through this project, we’re aiming to better serve the sector, including iwi, hapu and whanau. A more informative, sector-driven platform will enable better visibility of more of the collections distributed across Aotearoa’s communities.

Participants at one of our co-design workshops for the NZ Museums redevelopment project, September 2021

Contributors to NZ Museums currently use the eHive collection management system to share their objects on the platform. By moving to partner with National Library’s collection aggregator DigitalNZ, organisations using other collection management systems will also be able to share collections on NZ Museums.

This change will create a richer picture of our collections across the country in one place. We’re expecting to increase the number of objects on NZ Museums to approximately 1.3 million using DigitalNZ.

Current NZ Museums contributors need to sign up as a DigitalNZ Content Partner to continue sharing their collections on the site. If you currently share your collections on NZ Museums look out for an email from us detailing what you need to do.

Latest objects shared on the NZ Museums website, as at 27 September 2021

We would like all current contributors to be on board before our launch in early 2022.

The FAQ below has some more information about this partnership. If you have any further questions please reach out to NSTP Content and Resource Advisers Mandy and Emma.

NZ Museums FAQs

Why is the NZ Museums site being refreshed?

The potential of online platforms has evolved significantly since NZ Museums was first launched and our investment will create a better resource for the museum sector, and a more intuitive platform for those who want to access your collections. This is an opportunity to develop a site that is inclusive of iwi, hapū and whānau and reflective of the concept of Mana Taonga.

With this redevelopment we will be able to bring in collections from more museums, galleries and whare taonga – not just users of the eHive collection management system.

What other benefits will there be for participating organisations?

As well as being designed to be a go-to site for researchers, educators, genealogists, sector kaimahi and volunteers, we’ll be incorporating some new features in the site, such as:

  • Filtered website traffic analytics that will allow you to determine the number of hits your collection receives across a date range
  • A magazine style homepage that will be able to highlight collection objects that relate to events and themes
  • A refreshed directory of the 400 museums and galleries across Aotearoa.

What happens after I sign up as a DigitalNZ Content Partner?

  • Once you have agreed to participate, DigitalNZ will work with you on the technical options for connecting your digital material to the DigitalNZ services (such as the search engine and API)
  • DigitalNZ will send you access to their staging website so you can check how your content is displaying and answer any of your questions about how the content is displayed, updated and shared.
  • Your collection will be shared on DigitalNZ immediately and on the new NZ Museums site when it is relaunched in 2022.

Can we still charge for high resolution images under the DigitalNZ commercial and non-commercial use content partner options?

DigitalNZ and NZ Museums will only display thumbnail images, not the high resolution originals from your collection management system. This is regardless of choosing the commercial or non-commercial API options. Your organisation’s directory listing will be able to highlight services such as availability of high resolution images on request.

What happens if I don’t want to become a DigitalNZ Content Partner?

If you currently share your collection on NZ Museums but don’t want to sign up as a DigitalNZ Content Partner just let us know. You can chose to participate at any time in the future.

Current eHive users will still be able to share your collections online through the eHive website, but your collection will be no longer visible on NZ Museum when the new site goes live.

What happens to the copyright of my object?

The copyright terms you specify on your object record travels with the object, so will be reflected in your object listing in Digital NZ and NZ Museums.

Does it cost to sign up to Digital NZ or NZ Museums?

There are no fees, hidden or otherwise, for the harvest or inclusion on DigitalNZ or NZ Museums. There is no cost to you other than some time for checking that your collection look as expected. The whole process could take as little as a few hours.

We only share a few objects on NZ Museums at the moment – what happens if we decide to share more in the future?

Many organisations currently choose to show a selection of objects from their collection on NZ Museums. Whether you are undertaking a big digitisation push or are working steadily through your collection, Digital NZ will regularly check and update your listings to reflect any changes to what you choose to share online.

How long would it take changes to a published eHive/Vernon/EMu record to flow through to DigitalNZ and NZMuseums?

When Digital NZ brings in a content partner, you will discuss how frequently Digital NZ should revisit and update their records with your new content with Digital NZ’s Content Analyst, Tim Hannah. A weekly to monthly schedule is typical for eHive/NZ Museums collections. That said, if you have an important update that you’re keen to get it out there, you can contact Digital NZ and they will manually run an update.

If a collection item was taken down how long would it take to flow through to DigitalNZ?

That same schedule of visits will delete any records from Digital NZ that you remove from eHive, but again, if you contact Digital NZ, they will delete any records as soon as they are able. Typically this is within a couple of hours during work hours.

How can I contribute to the NZ Museum redevelopment project?

We’ll be seeking feedback throughout the project from the sector. Sign up to the NSTP newsletter to keep up to date about the project.

You can also contact NSTP Content and Resource Advisers Mandy and Emma with any feedback or questions.

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