Web umenia: online collections for the many (3)


Thursday, April 04, 2019: 7:45pm - 8:45pm - Constitution: Demonstrations 2

Michal Čudrnák, Slovak National Gallery, Slovakia

At lab.SNG, a research and development unit at the Slovak National Gallery (SNG), we develop websites and open source tools for the gallery and museum sector. Our main project is Web umenia (“Web of art”), an open platform for publishing art collections from public galleries and museums, with currently more than 100.000 artworks from 11 Slovak galleries. As most of the participating museums lack the staff and resources for digitization and web development, SNG provides the means and tools for scanning and photographing the artworks, storing the data and presenting the collections online. Over the course of the years, the sole focus on collections online (rather than institutional websites) allowed us to craft features such as artist profiles, high-resolution image viewing and zooming, topical collections, internalization, or color search. Two years ago, we were approached by major Czech galleries – Moravian gallery and National Gallery in Prague to create their own online collections websites. Development of “Web umenia” as an open source project thus became much more community oriented, not with one museum/gallery as the product owner, but many. How do we deal with this transition and how can we leverage our position, working across and with many institutions, while not being concerned about profit or brand recognition? I will be musing about these and other questions in my lightning talk.