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2015

Auckland Museum takes collections online as part of global legacy

Monday, 6 July 2015

Auckland Museum is releasing its records as open data, free to visitors.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

Three years on since its launch, Auckland War Memorial Museum’s long term strategy Future Museum continues to evolve, creating far-reaching benefits.

The latest step ensures the Museum’s collections are part of a global legacy, with the launch of a million records online and with millions more to follow. The innovation employs the latest technologies and allocates additional resources within the Museum for the care, documentation and digitisation of collections.

“In Future Museum the collections are at the core and the relationship with people is pivotal. We are creating a museum that is fit for the future; both a physical museum and a digital museum. The release of millions of online records means that people all over the world can take part and engage with our internationally-significant collections” says Auckland Museum Director, Roy Clare.

Auckland Museum is releasing its records as open data, free to the user. In doing so, it is among the first museums in the world to exploit the advantages of ‘Linked Open Data’, sharing knowledge and presenting unprecedented opportunities for learning, research, scholarship and general interest. ‘Linked Open Data’ ensures that collections are transparent, automatically interconnected and easier and faster to search.

Future Museum has inspired a wide range of initiatives to develop the readiness of the collections and to enable knowledge to be shared and exchanged. For example:

  • A workspace called Te Awe was created two years ago to open up the Māori taonga collections; the public have been able to view the work as it has progressed;
  • Exhibitions such as Taku Tāmaki – Auckland Stories and Moana – My Ocean and have pushed the boundaries for visitor experiences and participation;
  • A guiding document for the Pacific collections has been published: Teu Le Vā, which has led to a project to increase access, document and explore the treasures.

As part of the overall programme, the spaces currently occupied by the ‘Oceans’ and ‘Coastal’ galleries on Level One will be the venue for the largest imaging and cataloguing project the Museum has ever undertaken, with a specific priority to the Pacific collections.

Visitors will be able to see aspects of work taking place behind the scenes, giving a better understanding and appreciation of the vital processes involved in caring for our collections and making them ready for a world-wide audience, whether onsite, offsite or online.

The collections and themes that are currently expressed within the ‘Oceans’ and ‘Coastal’ galleries will be incorporated in new galleries that are being planned as part of a wider renewal project within Future Museum.

“The Museum is evolving to reflect the dynamic needs of Auckland, a world-class city that is growing rapidly. Our objective is to serve diverse peoples and communities whether here, across New Zealand or globally. Our collections are more relevant than ever and they will be increasingly accessible to everyone. Through the vision of Future Museum we are creating a global legacy for the generations to come.” added Mr Clare.

For more information we invite you to explore Auckland Museum’s collections online.

Explore the collections