Museum Opens Catalogue to User Participation

As chronicled here before, some forward-thinking colleagues of mine in the Swedish heritage business are embracing the social web and launching cutting-edge apps and projects. This is impressive not least because they are all working for state bodies founded in the 17th century. Just the other day Minister for Municipalities and the Financial Market Mats Odell gave the National Heritage Board a big shout-out for their Flickr project. (This is funny because Odell is a Christian Democrat and my buddies Lars and Johan are not so much.) Well-deserved praise!

Now Ulf Bodin has announced the start of beta testing of a Web 2.0 interface to the on-line catalogue of the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm. (This is the place where some of the staff reliably throw angry fits in the comments section if I criticise any of their other outreach efforts. I look upon the museum as my Alma Mater.) Ulf’s new application allows users to log onto the catalogue system and enter data into a set of user-available fields! You can tag catalogue entries in the same manner as on Flickr or YouTube, you can keep lists of entries, you can write notes and make them public, you can suggest relevant reading and you can point out errors. The integrity of the museum-supplied data still stands, but now us users can help accrete more info around each find and site.

The museum that keeps some of Sweden’s oldest human-made objects is also the one with the most updated on-line presence! And if you know a bit of Scandy, you can help Ulf develop the app.

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