Papers: How do we connect (with) collections?

Thursday, April 04, 2019: 11:00am - 12:30pm
Back Bay AB

Chair: Rob Lancefield

Building a Data Hub: Microservices, APIs, and System Integration at the Art Institute of Chicago
- Illya Moskvin, Art Institute of Chicago, USA
A common problem museums face is fragmented data across a variety of systems. Ad hoc integration is often costly, fragile to institutional change, and limiting to project scope. To address these issues, the Art Institute of Chicago has built a data hub: an intermediary system that collects data from disparate sources, harmonizes it, and makes it searchable through a single, normalized API. Here, we will discuss the architectural and collaborative considerations involved in building such systems, some techniques for doing so, and the strategic and tactical benefits they can bring.

Bootstrapping Digital Access at the MIT Museum: Online Collections Portal
- David Nunez, MIT Museum, USA, Cody Oliver, MIT, USA, Joey Tackett, Forum One, USA
The MIT Museum engaged in an extremely rapid digitization effort as it developed of its new Online Collections Portal, bootstrapping critical pieces of its digital infrastructure with very constrained staff and resources and within a remarkably accelerated timeframe of four months. We will discuss the museum's strategic, technical, design, and operational considerations as it engaged in this ambitious project. We needed to rapidly develop critical policies and systematic approaches for our collections digitization effort., forcing us to invent new workflows and collaboration tools, "just-in-time." We will not only highlight the successful elements of the effort, but we will discuss areas of concern, with proposals for future improvement.

Mapping Space, Time and the Collection at SFO Museum
- Aaron Cope, SFO Museum, USA
This presentation will discuss work modeling and marrying the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Museum collection and the airport itself, with the Who's On First (WOF) gazetteer of geographic places, producing an openly licensed data set native to the web and existing geographic information systems (GIS), that we are using this data to build and power our own online efforts. This paper and presentation will discuss the motivations behind the project, why our approach is necessary and beneficial in the historical context of digital initiatives in the museum sector, the lessons learned so far, and how we see this work as the core scaffolding for the museum's digital efforts going forward.