Collections Online & Online Cenotaph

Development Roadmap


In 2015 Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira launched both Online Cenotaph and Collections Online, introducing a single search across the Museum’s collections and implementing linked open data standards and a publicly accessible API. They are both now well-established online platforms with a wide audience and reach. Last financial year (2019-2020) saw more than 500,000 combined users, with just over two million pageviews. There were over 4000 items of user generated content uploaded to Online Cenotaph and 23 million interactions with collections records and images on external partner websites


Our vision is to transform Collections Online and Online Cenotaph from search platforms into knowledge platforms. This will be achieved by developing enhancements driven by user research and sector best practice, guided by values from Museum frameworks: He Korahi Māori (manaakitanga & kaitiakitanga), Teu Le Vā (meaningful engagement & valuing diversity) and the Auckland War Memorial Museum Act 1996 (continuous improvement).  


We aim to build on the foundations of Collections Online and Online Cenotaph, as well as collection cataloguing and imaging work undertaken during the Collection Readiness Project, Pacific Collection Access Project and Te Awe, with incremental technical and front-end changes as well as pilot projects that push the boundaries of digital museum practice. We seek impactful features which engage, educate and delight a broad range of users, making it easy to access, re-use and interact with the Museum’s online collections. 



Current Work


- Fix Cenotaph embarkation data errors

- Elasticsearch upgrade

- Cleaning & standardising rights statements


Future Work


- Prisoner of War browse feature on Online Cenotaph

- Make rights statements on objects and images more prominent and clearer

- Enhance image lightbox

- Landing page widgets on record pages

- Gagana Samoa UI translation for Collections Online and Online Cenotaph
- Natural Sciences data download interface

- Improve Collections Online record and object citations

- Full refresh of Collections Online data and images


Completed Work 2021/22


- Sir Edmund Hillary collection landing page



Completed Work 2020/21


- Fixed pagination for Collections Online records with 10+ pdfs and added PDF file names

- Add field collection location maps to Natural Science records

- Purple Poppy Day and Unknown Soldier record pages for Online Cenotaph

- Popular searches for Online Cenotaph

- Lay a poppy and leave a note widgets developed for Cenotaph features pages

- Automated count of User Generated Content on Cenotaph landing page

- Te Reo Māori translations available to download on

- Integrate Internet Archive book reader on record pages

- Add link to API from Collection Records

- Te Reo Māori UI translation for Collections Online and Online Cenotaph

- Collections Online record loading speed enhancements

- New Collections Online landing page

- Changed order of accession and other number fields on Collections Online

- New image placeholder graphics

- Fixed broken public tagging of Collections Online records

- Improved logic for related objects displayed on Collections Online records

- Added CC-BY 4.0 licence to Online Cenotaph template

- Remove restricted images and "Image Not Available" placeholders from display on record pages