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Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Collections Online recognised by The World Wide Web Consortium

Friday, 3 February 2017

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Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, LB10191 © Auckland Museum CC BY

Auckland War Memorial Museum has been recognised as an example of best practice in the World Wide Web Consortium’s most recent “Data on the web”. Founded by Tim Berners-Lee, the W3C sets and maintains the standards that help make the web work.

David Reeves, Director of Collections & Research, says the ever-growing collections are at the heart of Auckland Museum’s guiding principle of kaitiakitanga (guardianship). “The Museum has a responsibility to make our collections globally accessible. Museum culture is ever changing and we are embracing a different kind of access to the museum collection, one that allows people to self-navigate, engage with and discover the wondrous landscape of our natural, social and cultural collections on their own terms,” he says.

"It is a real privilege to be acknowledged by such an important organisation and we will to continue to strive for excellence. As Tim Berners-Lee so aptly put it “this is for everyone”, a principle we truly believe in making our collections available online,” he says.

Adam Moriarty, Digital Collections Information Manager, has spearheaded Auckland Museum’s Collections Online project, where nearly one million objects from the Museum’s collections are available to view online, with 2000 new objects being added every month. The metadata from these pages is available freely to the public.

Mr Moriarty says a policy of open access to the Museum’s collections is a core strategy for Auckland Museum. “Our open data is available in a standardised format via our API ( You can grab it, transform it, learn from it and share it. We have some amazing objects that we can show you onsite, and now anyone can explore these and learn more online.”

“Collections Online allows people to download the data and use it, thus creating an open space for people to engage with and expand the understanding of the collection,” he says. “We see creative minds in the community using ways to further unlock our content - to imagine and develop new applications for the collection data that will, in turn, reach and inspire new audiences.”

Visit our GitHub page to read about how to access our data here.

For media enquiries please contact Kat Saunders. 022 645 0845.