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Lessons From The Berkeley Museum Informatics Project (166187665)

Lessons From The Berkeley Museum Informatics Project (166187665)

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Published by EDUCAUSE
The Museum Informatics Project (MIP) at the University of California in Berkeley was formally established in 1992 as a collaborative effort to coordinate the application of information technology in the more than 80 museum and other organized, non-book collections on the campus. The Project's goal is to broaden access to fundamental academic resources by scholars, students, and the public. Faculty, collections managers, curators, librarians and information technology specialists work together to develop data models, system architectures, demonstration systems and network-accessible production databases of text records, images, sound, video and film. MIP is collaborating with similar projects at Harvard, Cornell, MIT, USC, the Australian National Botanical Gardens and other institutions.Some of the considerable early successes and difficult problems of the Project and its predecessor activities are examined to show how the necessary political, administrative, financial and technical support for MIP was created within the institution so that a change effort of this magnitude could be initiated. http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/lessons-berkeley-museum-informatics-project
The Museum Informatics Project (MIP) at the University of California in Berkeley was formally established in 1992 as a collaborative effort to coordinate the application of information technology in the more than 80 museum and other organized, non-book collections on the campus. The Project's goal is to broaden access to fundamental academic resources by scholars, students, and the public. Faculty, collections managers, curators, librarians and information technology specialists work together to develop data models, system architectures, demonstration systems and network-accessible production databases of text records, images, sound, video and film. MIP is collaborating with similar projects at Harvard, Cornell, MIT, USC, the Australian National Botanical Gardens and other institutions.Some of the considerable early successes and difficult problems of the Project and its predecessor activities are examined to show how the necessary political, administrative, financial and technical support for MIP was created within the institution so that a change effort of this magnitude could be initiated. http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/lessons-berkeley-museum-informatics-project

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Published by: EDUCAUSE on Sep 07, 2013
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Lessons From The Berkeley Museum Informatics ProjectCopyright CAUSE 1994. This paper was presented at the 1993CAUSE Annual Conference held in San Diego, California,December 7-10, and is part of the conference proceedingspublished by CAUSE. Permission to copy or disseminate all orpart of this material is granted provided that the copies arenot made or distributed for commercial advantage, that theCAUSE copyright notice and the title and authors of thepublication and its date appear, and that notice is giventhat copying is by permission of CAUSE, the association formanaging and using information technology in highereducation. To copy or disseminate otherwise, or to republishin any form, requires written permission from CAUSE. Forfurther information: CAUSE, 4840 Pearl East Circle, Suite302E, Boulder, CO 80301; 303449-4430; e-mailinfo@cause.colorado.eduLessons from the Berkeley Museum Informatics ProjectBarbara H. MorganDirector, Advanced Technology PlanningUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeley, CaliforniaDecember 8, 1993barbm@garnet.berkeley.eduThe Museum Informatics Project at the University of California inBerkeley is a collaborative effort to coordinate the applicationof information technology in the more than 80 museum and otherorganized, non-book collections on the campus. Faculty,collection managers, curators, librarians and informationtechnology specialistswork together to develop data models, systemarchitectures, demonstration systems and network-accessibleproduction databases of text records, images, sound, video andfilm. This presentation examines some of the early successes anddifficult problems of the project and its predecessor activities,to show how the necessary political, administrative, financial andtechnical support for the project was created within theinstitution.INTRODUCTIONWhy is the Berkeley Museum Informatics Project of interest?New alliances are needed so that we can share scarce resourcesinternally on our campuses and leverage external resources. TheBerkeley Museum Informatics Project is an example of a new
 
alliance on our campus, and there may be lessons from thesuccesses and problems of this collaborative project and itspredecessor activities that apply to other cross-organizationaland cross-disciplinary efforts. This examination will show howthe necessary political, administrative, financial and technicalsupport for this project was created within the institution, andwhat kind of leadership was needed to initiate a change effort ofthis magnitude.AudiencesAudiences who might be interested in this topic, in addition toindividuals embarked on similar efforts at other institutions,include university and college administrators who are responsiblefor many disparate units and who see promise in informationtechnology for better management of their operations.In particular, people contemplating large-scale ventures toimplement imaging systems for paper documents might find usefulparallels with this Museum Informatics Project. The project mayalso be of interest to information technology professionals whoare concerned about the problems of moving from fancy multimediaprototypes to large-scale production systems.University of California at BerkeleyThe University of California at Berkeley is part of the nine-campus University of California system, a public institution. Wehave 31,000 students (22,000 under-graduates and 9,000 graduatestudents) from 100 countries. Three hundred degree programs areoffered in 14 colleges and schools. We have a law school and abusiness school; we have no medical school. There are probablyabout 17,000 computers on campus; about 12,500 are connected tothe campus network.MUSEUM INFORMATICS PROJECTSummaryThe Museum Informatics Project (MIP) is a collaborative effort tocoordinate the application of information technology in the museumand other organized, non-book collections on the campus. TheBerkeley campus has more than 80 collections, with 30 millionartifacts, housed in 65 organizational units in all major academicdisciplines.A few examples of the many kinds of materials in these collectionsinclude costumes, bugs, forest products, kinetic art, Egyptianmummies, plant specimens, soil samples, fossils, maps,architectural drawings, temple rubbings and musical instruments.The project was formally created in January 1992. The foundingmembers were:Jepson and University HerbariaMuseum of PaleontologyMuseum of Vertebrate ZoologyPhoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of AnthropologyUniversity Art MuseumArchitecture Slide Library
 
History of Art Visual Resources CollectionInformation Systems & TechnologyMIP's goal is to broaden access to fundamental academic resourcesby scholars, students and the public. Participants in the projectinclude faculty, collection managers, curators, librarians andinformation technology specialists.MIP has collaborative relationships with other University ofCalifornia campuses, especially those at Davis and Riverside, andwith the University of California Office of the President.Berkeley participants are also collaborating with people workingon similar activities at Harvard, Cornell, MIT, USC, theUniversity of Washington and the Australian National BotanicalGardens, among others.Activities and architectureThe Museum Informatics Project has these major activities:+ Produce a campus strategic plan for museum informatics;+ Develop guidelines for information systems in museums andother collections;+ Maintain an information clearinghouse;+ Operate a demonstration and development facility;+ Evaluate, select and implement information tools forscholars and curators;+ Develop data models, system architectures, demonstrationsystems;+ Develop network-accessible production databases of textrecords, images, sounds, video and film;+ Assist museums migrating from legacy systems;+ Obtain extramural funding for campus museum informaticsefforts;+ Provide a forum for serious discussion of intellectualproperty issues and other matters related to scholarly databases;+ Produce a comprehensive catalog of campus collections.The project has a strategic architecture (shown in the diagram atthe end of this paper). The network is the key element. Thecampus high-speed network connects every collection and everyuser, and the Internet connects the collections to other scholarlyinstitutions, public agencies, private non-profit organizationsand the general public.Collections are grouped intellectually in terms of theirrelationship to biological diversity, cultural diversity, andphysical diversity.Client-server architecture and distributed systems imply that eachfunction is carried out where it can be done best and is mostneeded. Each resource is managed by the parties most immediatelyresponsible, but access, including use of shared services andsystems, can be granted from any location.Strategic support is provided by the Academic Senate, the campusadministration, the central computing organization, and theLibrary. "Cooperative autonomy" is enhanced by planning andguidance from advisory committees and functional working groups.Management and funding

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