Friday, August 19, 2011

A new online collection

After years of effort in digitizing a gigantic handwritten catalog, photographing objects and creating a unified university database system, the University of Oslo Museum of Cultural History will finally unveil its new online ethnographic database next week - on August 24th. However, you can already search in the database online. At the moment, it is available only in Norwegian. Searches can be made by name, region, collection, theme, material...and - most importantly from an international viewpoint - "outline of cultural materials" code. OCM code 534 represents musical instruments. Take a look at what shows up:
Other tests also retrieve large numbers of objects:
Within each search, it is possible to refine the lists by checking off other relevant terms for the objects found. What makes this all possible are the embedded OCM  codes added during the process of typing in the catalog text.
My congratulations to the Museum of Cultural History, and the museum IT network MUSIT for the work they have put into this project. Now that they have come this far, creating a multilingual interface based on OCM codes should be a relatively simple task. I look forward to seeing that sometime in the future.

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