I n 2 0 1 2 , C H F d e b u t e d T h e A l c h e mi c a l Q u e s t , a n e x h i b i t f e a t u r i n g r a r e

b o o k s o f t h e g o l d e n a g e o f a l c h e my f r o m t h e 1 6 t h a n d 1 7 t h c e n t u r i e s
d r a wn f r o m t h e c o l l e c t i o n s o f t h e O t h me r L i b r a r y o f C h e mi c a l H i s t o r y.
T h i s r e p o r t d o c u me n t s e f f o r t s t o ma k e t h e s e t e x t s a c c e s s i b l e a n d
a l i v e t o v i s i t o r s v i a t o u c h p r o j e c t i o n t e c h n o l o g y.
PROJECT
REPORT
@Chemheri tage
INSIDE
Exhi bi t & Proj ect Background
Experi ence Obj ecti ves
Learni ng Obj ecti ves
Hardware and Software
Feedback and Eval uati on
Rel ated di gi tal medi a
Proj ect Management & Mi l estones
P r o j e c t G o a l s :
• Rei nforce the depth and compl exi ty presented i n the exhi bi ti on content
• I mpl i ci tl y rei terate the exhi bi ti on narrati ves whi l e al l owi ng for vi si tors to enj oy
the i mager y of the books through the i nteracti ve experi ence
• Provi de vi si tors wi th al ternate means of experi enci ng the books i n the exhi bi ti on
• Foster curi osi ty and encourage deeper expl orati on of i mages and text
• Demonstrate an exampl e of an al chemi cal process i n i ts enti rety
• Refl ect the fantasti cal and practi cal bal ance found wi thi n the books
http: //www. chemheri tage. org/vi si t/museum/exhi bi ts/al chemi cal -quest/i nteracti ve. aspx
The Alchemical quest
Rare books interactive
Page 2 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t

Alchemical Quest
Rare Books
Interactive
Project Report
(with Tactical
Helps for Cultural
Institutions)
PROJECT OVERVIEW
The Chemi cal Heri tage Foundati on (CHF) devel oped an i nteracti ve i nstal l ati on for
an exhi bi ti on enti tl ed The Al chemi cal Quest, whi ch expl ored the hi stor y of al chemy
through CHF’s rare books from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centur y. The i nteracti ve
i nstal l ati on provi ded an exci ti ng i nterpreti ve l ayer that encouraged vi si tors to
engage fur ther wi th the exhi bi t’s fasci nati ng content, captured i n the exhi bi ti on’s
mi ssi on to chal l enge al chemy’s occul t reputati on by i l l ustrati ng i ts i mpor tance i n
earl y chemi cal i ndustr y and pharmacol ogy, whi l e at the same ti me addressi ng the
dream of transmutati on pursued by natural sci enti sts as respected as Si r I saac
Newton.
Si nce the museum opened i n 2008, vi si tors routi nel y provi ded posi ti ve feedback i n
the paper-based vi si tor l og about the space, the stori es, and the obj ects. The most
consi stent suggesti on for i mprovement i s for more i nteracti ve experi ences.
The “Al chemi cal Quest” was the fi rst exhi bi t-based i nteracti ve proj ect managed
by CHF’s new manager of emergi ng medi a, who woul d manage the proj ect. The
rare books featured i n thi s exhi bi t provi ded a ri ch source of i nteracti ve materi al ,
i ncl udi ng ar t, hi stor y, phi l osophy, rel i gi on, and sci ence. However, thei r arcane
nature, compl ex al l egori cal i mage and archai c l anguages provi ded chal l enges gi ven
the al l owed ti me, budget and subj ect matter exper ti se.
The i nteracti ve was approached on the premi se that communi cati ng hi stori c obj ects
authenti cal l y i n a new medi um requi res new thought patterns. Thi s document
exami nes the creati ve technol ogy-dri ven approaches comi ng out of the i nteracti ve
devel opment process for The Al chemi cal Quest.
I NTERACTI VI TY AS A VALUE
The i nteracti ve proj ect began si x months before i t was due to l aunch, wi th much of
the conceptual groundwork for the exhi bi t al ready establ i shed. As thi s was CHF’s
fi rst i nteracti ve based on a temporar y exhi bi t, i t proved to be a l abor-i ntensi ve
process that redi rected a substanti al amount of energy from devel opment of the
physi cal exhi bi t.
Whi l e the exhi bi t and devel opment teams sought to al i gn the mi l estones of the
book exhi bi t and the i nteracti ve, they are not paral l el processes, wi th technol ogy
requi ri ng more l ead ti me. Changi ng the narrati ve or l ook-and-feel of an i nteracti ve
i s not l i ke swi tchi ng pl acement of exhi bi t cases. The physi cal books woul d
ul ti matel y be opened to si ngl e poi nts behi nd di spl ay cases and i nterpreted i n
bi g-pi cture concepts wi th l i mi ted l abel text; the i nteracti ve wi l l requi re a ki nd of
rel ati onshi p wi th the user wi th i ts two more i n-depth i l l ustrated narrati ves.
DEFI NI NG ROLES
A ti mel i ne for devel opment tracked through the Basecamp proj ect management web
appl i cati on hel ped establ i sh a framework for the proj ect. The manager of emergi ng
medi a ser ved as the si ngl e poi nt of contact between CHF and the technol ogy vendor.
Getti ng feedback from the enti re team was i mpor tant for concept devel opment.
After matters of audi ence, purpose, and basi c vi sual treatments were settl ed,
a subcommi ttee from CHF worked cl osel y wi th the devel opers for content and
experi ence refi nement. As the l aunch date approached, thi s group met frequentl y i n
a “war room” setti ng to ready materi al s for the devel opment agency.
FOR MORE I NFORMATI ON
Jeffer y K. Gui n
Manager of Emergi ng Medi a
JGui n@chemheri tage. org
Twi tter: @heri tagevoi ces
FOR AN ONLI NE DEMO OF THE
I NTERACTI VE EXPERI ENCE VI SI T
chemheri tage. org/al chemi cal quest
Page 3 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
CHEMI CAL HERI TAGE FOUNDATI ON
CHF col l ects, uses, and shares the hi s-
tor y of sci ence and technol ogy, wi th
par ti cul ar attenti on to chemi str y and
mol ecul ar sci ence. CHF’s resources
i ncl ude a l i brar y and oral hi stor y col -
l ecti on, museum col l ecti ons of sci en-
ti fi c obj ects and ar twork, and exten-
si ve archi ves (i ncl udi ng the papers of
several Nobel Laureates). The Founda-
ti on organi zes exhi bi ts and symposi a
and has an acti ve Fel l owshi p program
for schol ars. CHF al so grants several
si gni fi cant awards.
PROJECT WEBSI TE:
http: //www. chemheri tage. org/vi si t/
museum/exhi bi ts/al chemi cal -quest/
i ndex. aspx
DEVELOPMENT TEAM:
Rosi e Cook
Marge Gapp
Jeff Gui n
Jenni fer Landr y
Chri sty Schnei der
Greg Tobi as
Ji m Voel kel
Pat Wi el and
NI GHT KI TCHEN I NTERACTI VE

PROJECT WEBSI TE:
http: //www. whatscooki n.
com/#C| 873| 941
DEVELOPMENT TEAM:
Matthew Donadi o
Matthew Fi sher
Dan Kuetemeyer
Stacey Mann
Sean McBrear ty
Kathy McHoes
Janneken Smucker
USER EXPECTATI ONS
Abstracti on was a gui di ng val ue for conceptual i zi ng thi s proj ect. Members of the
team worked to avoi d a l i teral i nterpretati on of obj ects, wanti ng CHF’s vi si tors/
users to gai n an appreci ati on of them based on the authenti c stor y behi nd them. I n
the age of smar t phones and tabl ets, expectati ons for i nteracti ve technol ogi es have
changed si gni fi cantl y. Vi si tors can often be seen i n museums usi ng pi nchi ng moti on
to zoom text on a di gi tal di spl ay moni tor to no effect other than amused gl ances
from the docent staff. I n much the same way, expectati ons have al so changed
regardi ng how museums and heri tage i nsti tuti ons tel l these stori es effecti vel y.
The goal i s to create enough novel ty to i ntri gue. Use j ust enough stor y to evoke
emoti on. I nspi re memori es from the experi ence. Leave the user wi th a thi rst for
deeper meani ng i n the museum and beyond. CHF worked to achi eve these obj ecti ves
wi th The Al chemi cal Quest, an approach that wi l l conti nue to i mprove i n the
i nsti tuti ons future i nteracti ve endeavors.
REFINING THE CREATIVE VISION
The possi bi l i ti es for thi s proj ect were di zzyi ng. I ni ti al l y, the proj ect team i magi ned
recreati ng the al chemi sts’ l abs out of CHF’s Transmutati ons exhi bi t. I magi ne a
broad, rough-hewn work tabl e, wi th gl ass-bl own repl i cas of al chemi cal fl asks. I n
the mi ddl e of these obj ects i s a l arge l eather-bound “book” that magi cal l y comes
to l i fe at the touch of the user, who can then expl ore these hi stori c texts and
set up vi r tual experi ments based on the processes descri bed i n them. I t di dn’ t
take l ong for the constrai nts for ti me, budget and space to make way for a more
practi cal i mpl ementati on of the i dea. Dreami ng bi g opened the team’s eyes to
the possi bi l i ti es, though. I t al so hel ped them recogni ze i nstantl y when the ri ght
approach for avai l abl e resources came al ong, maki ng consensus much easi er to
achi eve.
DEVELOPMENT VENDOR
Phi l adel phi a i s home to a number of nati onal l y respected i nteracti ve agenci es
that cater to cul tural heri tage cl i ents. CHF contracted Ni ght Ki tchen I nteracti ve
i n earl y 2012, and remai ned the proj ect vendor throughout the process. Worki ng
wi th a compressed ti me schedul e they took the ti me to understand what the CHF
team val ued i n the physi cal obj ects and the i nteracti ve. Ni ght Ki tchen i s an award-
wi nni ng desi gn fi rm wi th 17 years of experi ence par tneri ng wi th museums, sci ence
centers, and ar ts and cul tural heri tage organi zati ons.
CREATIVE VISION
The i nteracti ve experi ence wi thi n the Al chemi cal Quest exhi bi ti on presents the
vol umes through an i nteracti ve i nterface whi l e preser vi ng thei r i nherent beauty and
compl exi ty. The i mager y features smal l ani mati ons that i ndi cate cer tai n el ements of
the i mages (e. g. , steam i n a bottl e, wavi ng banner, etc. ) and use vi sual cues to al er t
vi si tors of addi ti onal i nformati on about the i mage. Sequences of rel ated i mager y
are presented through l arger ani mati ons i n order to present speci fi c phases of the
al chemi cal process i n successi on. Hotspots wi l l be i ntegrated wi th the i mager y i n
the books so that vi si tors can enj oy an unobstructed vi ew of the i mager y whi l e al so
provi di ng i nterpreti ve cl ues, al l through an i ntui ti ve and user-fri endl y i nterface.
CHF prepared hi gh-resol uti on photographs from the El ementa Chemi æ (1718)
Page 4 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
Interpretive
Values
Audience
Profle
The goal s of the Al chemi cal Quest
i nteracti ve were foundati onal l y based
on i nterpreti ve val ues ori gi nati ng from
the exhi bi t i tsel f. These i ncl uded the
fol l owi ng:
• Present al chemy as a val i d
sci enti fi c process.
• Chal l enge modern day concepti ons
that al chemy and chemi str y were
di sti nct sci enti fi c ventures.
• Reveal how al chemy was a seri ous
and val i d pursui t of sci enti sts i n
that ti me peri od.
• Demonstrate how al chemy
i nfl uenced the devel opment of
modern sci ence — Many al chemi cal
processes are the basi s for modern
chemi str y.
• Show that the processes and i deas
of al chemy and chemi str y were
i nterchangeabl e i n the 16th, 17th
and 18th centuri es.
The Al chemi cal Quest exhi bi ti on
draws together a di verse audi ence
rangi ng from hi gh school students to
enthusi asts of CHF’s “Fi rst Fri days”
events. Speci fi c audi ence groups
i ncl ude:
• General CHF Vi si tors
• 30-50 years ol d
• Approx. 17% i nternati onal vi si tors
• Cl ose to 50/50 spl i t of men and
women
• Sci ence researchers
• Chemi sts and Sci enti sts vi si ti ng
CHF for conferences and events
• Fi rst Fri day fans
• Touri sts to Phi l adel phi a and
I ndependence Hal l
• Hi gh school chemi str y students
• Sci ence professi onal s and
enthusi asts
• Phi l adel phi a and area l ocal s
and Pandora (1582) of the pages sel ected for i ncl usi on i n the i nteracti ve and
l arger ani mati ons. Al l accompanyi ng transl ati ons, i nterpreti ve text from sel ected
passages wi thi n the two vol umes, al ong wi th i ntroductor y text were produced by
the CHF proj ect team.
TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
The Ni ght Ki tchen proj ect team di scovered the Medi aScreen Monkeybook Fl i pbook
as a real i sti c refi nement of the ori gi nal vi si on. Thi s i nteracti ve vi r tual book i s
an el egant touch desk presentati on system wi th a convex proj ecti on screen i n an
authenti c book desi gn.
The transparent acr yl i c form factor fi t the desi gn of CHF’s museum. An i ntegrated,
conti nuous operati on capabl e Mi cro-PC and a hi ghl y preci se camera tracki ng system
create a user experi ence si mi l ar to that of an actual book. The experi ence i s j ust
l i ke readi ng a di gi tal book, compl ete wi th the abi l i ty to turn a page and even
embed vi deos.
CHF purchased the i nteracti ve from i ts excl usi ve retai l er i n the U. S. – AV Rental
Depot i n Boca Raton, Fl ori da.
http: //www. sal es. avrental depot. com/monkeybook. html
ENHANCI NG OBJECTS
CHF was the thi rd organi zati on—and fi rst museum—to purchase the Monkeybook
i n the U. S. I t cl osel y fi t the ori gi nal vi si on of gesture-based proj ecti on wi th the
form factor of a book. The base i s cl ear acr yl i c rather than anci ent wood, but
i t ser ves a l ong-term purpose. Because the basi c page-fl i p programmi ng onl y
requi res scans of the page, CHF has the abi l i ty to re-use the devi ce i n the museum
and Othmer Li brar y after the exhi bi t was over. Over ti me i t can potenti al l y dri ve
the di gi ti zati on of the organi zati on’s rarer ti tl es, and save wear on them by
ser vi ng as an access poi nt.
I n the meanti me, The Al chemi cal Quest i s testi ng the Monkeybook’s l i mi ts:
sequenti al ani mati ons wi th contextual boxes enhance the stunni ngl y arcane
etchi ngs throughout. The devel opment team had to tweak page si zes to match
the propor ti ons of the Monkeybook’s screen si zes and re-eval uate vi sual concept
treatments. The concept remai ns true, however, and conti nues to spur i nterest and
understandi ng of the books even whi l e i t enter tai ns as a standal one proj ect.
TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES
Surfi ng the wave of tech i nnovati on comes wi th benefi ts and ri sks. Whi l e the
Monkeybook was acknowl edged as the ri ght tool for The Al chemi cal Quest exhi bi t,
i t presented chal l enges rel ated to proj ector cal i brati on, touch sensi ti vi ty and
sub-par performance when ambi ent l i ght shi fts. After several weeks of tr yi ng to
overcome these i ssues, Ni ght Ki tchen was abl e to determi ne wi th the manufacturer
that there was a defect i n our par ti cul ar devi ce. CHF recei ved the repl acement
model wi th onl y a month of devel opment ti me l eft on the cl ock. The proj ect was
rel eased on ti me, but wi th fewer features and a gl i tch i n proj ector propor ti ons
on i ts l aunch ni ght. The si tuati on rei nforced the i mpor tance of extensi ve testi ng
wi th newer technol ogi es, par ti cul arl y when the pl an i s to ful l y expl ore thei r
capabi l i ti es.
Page 5 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
Anatomy of a
Monkeybook
1
The Monkeybook software
uni fi es the Fl i pbook
Mac software product
“Megazi ne” the uni que
hardware form factor. Thi s
can be booted, restar ted or
shut down usi ng i cons i n the
computer’s appl i cati on dock.
2
The book-shaped form
factor that users
touch to swi pe through
pages i s actual l y two pi eces
of removabl e pl asti c. The
transl ucent surface captures
the proj ecti on and i nfrared
l i ght si gnal .
3
The Monkeybook’s base
contai ns three maj or
components – a Casi o
proj ector, an i nfrared sensor
gri d and a Mac mi ni . The
Casi o’s l i ght i s proj ected onto
an angl ed mi rror that refl ects
upward i nto the “book”
surface.
FEATURES & FUNCTI ONS
• Transparent Acr yl i c-Body
• Preci se camera tracki ng system
• I ntegrated Mi cro-PC
• I ntegrated 1 Chi p DLP Proj ector
• Control content vi a touch i nteracti vi ty
• Bri l l i ant and hi gh contrast i mage
• Homogeneous proj ecti on screen
• Speci al model s upon request

TECHNI CAL DATA
• Screen si ze: (BxH) 18. 8” x 12. 5” (24“
Di agonal )
• Si ze: (HxBxD) 39” x 23. 6” x 16”
• Wei ght: 88 l b
• Proj ector: 1 Chi p DLP, WXGA, ca. 2500
Lumens
• Materi al : Acr yl i c-Body/coated steel
• I nputs: USB & Ethernet
• Formats: Vi deo & I mage Fi l es
Page 6 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
Designing
Narrative
Based on the establ i shed i nterpreti ve
val ues, the exhi bi t and devel opment
teams fur ther refi ned the fol l owi ng
i nteracti ve goal s based on ti me
frame, budget and capabi l i ti es of the
technol ogy pl atform.
1. Rei nforce the depth and compl exi ty
presented i n the exhi bi ti on content
2. I mpl i ci tl y rei terate the exhi bi ti on
narrati ves whi l e al l owi ng for
vi si tors to enj oy the i mager y of
the books through the i nteracti ve
experi ence
3. Provi de vi si tors wi th an al ternate
means of experi enci ng the rare
books i n the exhi bi ti on
4. Foster vi si tor curi osi ty and
encourage deeper expl orati on of
i mages and text wi thi n the books
on di spl ay
5. Demonstrate an exampl e of
an al chemi cal process i n i ts
enti rety by taki ng i mager y from
two books on di spl ay wi thi n the
exhi bi ti on: El ementa Chemi æ
(1718), Barchusen, Pandora (1582),
Epi metheus
6. Refl ect the fantasti cal and
practi cal bal ance found wi thi n the
books
7. Compl ex i mager y and symbol i c
l anguage are grounded i n practi cal
sci enti fi c appl i cati ons.
CHF worked wi th Ni ght Ki tchen
I nteracti ve to i denti fy and l ock-down
content types for thi s experi ence
before Al pha devel opment. Thi s ensured
that the wi reframes and functi onal i ty
speci fi cati ons addressed the di fferent
types of content and fi el ds of
i nformati on for each content type (e. g.
ti tl e, body text, i mages, etc. ).
Above: A script was developed from prospective texts by Jim Voelkel, CHF’s rare books curator,
and Marge Gapp, curator of art. They further color coded the type of content to provide the
technical developers a good sense of how it should be distinguished for the interactive. The
excerpt of script above references the animation of the lab in Barchusen’s “Elements of Chem-
istry.” The lab image was the only non-allegorical image, and the only two-page spread. Below
is the resulting image on the Monkeybook in the midst of interpretive animation.
INTERPRETIVE DEVELOPMENT
TRANSFORMING THE COMPLEX WORLD OF THE ALCHEMISTS
Page 7 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
ANIMATING ALLEGORY
LOOSING PANDORA’ S SECRETS FROM AN ALCHEMICAL BOOK
The i mages bel ow i l l ustrate the transformati on of the i coni c i mage from “Pandora”
(1582), from the hi stori cal book page i nto a sophi sti cated ani mati on. They al so
represent the process CHF under took to transl ate each of the pages ul ti matel y used
i n The Al chemi cal Quest i nteracti ve. Thi s process i ncl udes the fol l owi ng steps:
1. Photographi ng the rel evant pages i n RAW and hi gh-resol uti on TI FF formats.
2. Each page i mage was pri nted. Wi th l ogi sti cal suppor t from the proj ect team,
the rare books curator broke down i nto i ts component concepts by si mpl y
hi ghl i ghti ng them on the photocopy.
3. The scri pt (referenced l eft) was pri nted, and the narrati ve el ements were cut
out wi th sci ssors and pasted over the appropri ate areas of the i mage. Adhesi ve
sti cky notes were used for addi ti onal ani mati on di recti on.
4. The devel opment team took the di gi tal i mages and i nstructi on from CHF and
separated the di screte graphi c el ements for stor yboarded ani mati on.
1
2
3 4
IMAGE SPECS
Speci fi cati ons for i mage producti on
i ncl uded the fol l owi ng:
1. Di gi ti zed i mages i n hi gh-qual i ty,
uncompressed formats (at l east
300 dpi ).
2. Uncompressed i mages that are
at l east 2300 x 2500 pi xel s for
“zoom” capaci ty.
3. Source i mages for mani pul ati on i n
eps or Adobe I l l ustrator formats.
4. Cl ear l i censi ng agreements for
i mage use.
SOFTWARE
I magi ng and I l l ustrati on:
• Adobe Photoshop
• Adobe I l l ustrator
Ani mati on & Renderi ng:
• Adobe Fl ash
• Adobe Ai r
• MegaZi ne 3 PageFl i p (http: //www.
megazi ne3. de/home. html )
BUDGET
Di scover y & Pl anni ng, $5, 000
Expl ore an I nteracti ve Book, $30, 000
Confi gurati on & Testi ng, $2, 000
Promoti onal Marketi ng Pl an, $5, 000
DEVELOPMENT TOTAL
$42, 000
Medi aScreen MonkeyBook was
purchased di rectl y by CHF
$10, 000
Page 8 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
Based on vi si tors’ rati ngs of speci fi c methods of i nformati on del i ver y, the
Chemi cal Heri tage Foundati on can assume how the vi si tors woul d l i ke to see
future i nformati on del i vered. By a l arge margi n, Obser vi ng Ar ti facts was the
most enj oyabl e acti vi ty for CHF vi si tors (about 95% of peopl e responded wi th
~4. 4 rati ng). Watchi ng vi deos, usi ng the Di gi tal Fl i p Book, and the Touchscreen
fol l owed. The l east enj oyabl e acti vi ti es were readi ng l abel s (~98% responded wi th
a ~3. 8 rati ng) and usi ng the Gui tar Stri ngs (~45% responded wi th a ~3. 4).
Thi s i nformati on can al so be compared to the fact that the Di gi tal Fl i p Book had
the greatest drawi ng and hol di ng power combi ned, but that the di dacti c exhi bi ts
had the greatest hol di ng power overal l .
I n reference to l abel s, some vi si tors commented about thei r desi gn and content. A
vi si tor who worked i n a fi el d affi l i ated wi th chemi str y stated, “The l abel s are hard
to understand. Engl i sh i s not my fi rst l anguage, and I do not understand. ” Another
decl ared, “The col ors used are not contrasti ng enough. I t i s to hard to read. ”
Vi si tors were al so asked to rate thei r di gi tal capabi l i ti es and comfor t l evel s i n
reference to the use of computers, smar t phones, and tabl ets both i ndependentl y
and i n a museum setti ng. Overal l , vi si tors rated thei r comfor t l evel of the use of
computers i n both envi ronments hi gher than the other devi ces (4. 7 i ndependentl y
and 4. 4 i n a museum setti ng).
RECOMMENDATI ONS
Si nce CHF’s vi si tors enj oy the ar ti facts the most, i t i s recommend that the
ar ti facts be i ncorporated more i nto educati onal programmi ng, and that the
museum provi de ar ti fact repl i cas for vi si tors to touch. Due to the fact that al l
medi a components rated between ~4. 0 and ~4. 3, i t can be assumed that vi si tors
woul d enj oy more types of medi a (vi deos, touchscreens, Di gi tal Fl i p Book) bei ng
used to del i ver the content of exhi bi ts.
Due to the Gui tar Stri ngs’ l abel s and desi gn, and the fact that the pi ece i s set i nto
the exhi bi t, i t i s l i kel y that vi si tors may not know i t i s somethi ng they can touch.
I t i s recommended that i t be changed to better engage vi si tors i n the i nteracti ve.
Based on the statements concerni ng l abel s, i t i s agai n recommended (as stated
above) that the l abel s be updated i n terms of desi gn and readabi l i ty. Due to the
fact that vi si tors rated thei r comfor t l evel of usi ng computers i n a museum
setti ng hi gher than other el ectroni cs, i t i s recommended that the Chemi cal
EXCERPTS FROM UNI VERSI TY OF THE ARTS
ANALYSI S OF MUSEUM I NFORMATI ON DELI VERY
EVALUATI ON AND FEEDBACK
Leadi ng up to the l aunch of Al chemi cal Quest, CHF staff members and i nvi ted
guests tested the i nteracti ve extensi vel y. The seni or adul t demographi c expected
for the physi cal exhi bi t was gi ven par ti cul ar focus. As a resul t of thi s feedback,
one sentence of i nstructi on was added to the devi ce, a cl ear stri p of pl asti c cl i ng
adhesi ve wi th the words “Swi pe to turn the page, and watch. ” CHF’s museum
was sel ected as an i nteracti ve study proj ect for Museum Studi es students at the
Uni versi ty of the Ar ts i n the fal l of 2012. The study provi ded val uabl e i nsi ght i nto
how vi si tors responded to the museum space overal l , and how i nteracti ves l i ke the
Monkeybook coul d i nform future museum experi ences. The fol l owi ng two pages
contai n rel evant excerpts from the resul ti ng UAr ts repor t.
“The ani mated ‘ e-
book’ di splay i n ‘ The
Alchemi cal Quest’
was j ust as fabulous
as you promi sed! I had
so much fun goi ng
through each and ev-
ery page. It’ s a terri fi c
exhi bi ti on, and
I’ ve recommended i t
to several fri ends who
work i n archi vi ng.
What a great way to
make texts acces-
si ble!”
-Li sa, doctoral student i n art
hi story/alchemy
Page 9 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
SOURCE: “The Museum at the Chemical Heritage Foundation: Final Evaluation Report, Mu-
seum Audience 603-02.” Authors: Louise Barrett, Kara Gafken, Kathryn Greeninger, Daniel
Kennedy, University of the Arts, November 27, 2012.
Visualizing Visitor Response
User success, drawing & holding power of the Alchemical Quest Flipbook
Heri tage Foundati on i ncorporate the use
of thi s technol ogy i n i ts exhi bi ts and/or
programmi ng.
ANALYSI S OF MUSEUM
I NTERACTI VES
The overal l museum el ement wi th the
hi ghest drawi ng and hol di ng power, was
the di gi tal fl i pbook i n the temporar y
exhi bi ti on, ‘ The Al chemi cal Quest. ’
I n fact, many vi si tors often came
speci fi cal l y for thi s exhi bi ti on. The
overal l museum el ement wi th the l owest
drawi ng and hol di ng power was the
Chemi cal Heri tage Foundati on’s Vi si tor
Stati on. Thi s di d not i ncl ude when
Vi si tor Ser vi ce staff members greeted
vi si tors upon entrance, but when
vi si tors stopped at the Stati on on thei r
own accord.
I n compari ng the i nteracti ve and
di dacti c exhi bi t el ements, overal l the
di dacti cs’ drawi ng and hol di ng power
outwei ghed the i nteracti ves’ . The
i nteracti ve exhi bi t el ements were not
far behi nd, however many vi si tors
mi ssed them, most l i kel y due to l ack
of si gnage. Though the di fference i n
the drawi ng and hol di ng power resul ts
were sl i ght (asi de from the el ements
whi ch recei ved the hi ghest and l owest
powers), vi si tors had both posi ti ves
and negati ves reacti ons to ei ther both
el ements.
RECOMMENDATI ONS
Based on the use and response to
mul ti medi a el ements i n the museum,
the i ntroducti on of addi ti onal
components woul d be a wel come
addi ti on for most museum vi si tors.
I t i s probabl e that the drawi ng power of
the i nteracti ve el ements may be l ow due
to the fact that they do not stand out.
The drawi ng power of these el ements
may i ncrease i f they possessed more
promi nent l abel s or addi ti onal si gnage
for vi si tors. I t i s recommended that
such components be added or updated,
and l ater tested through prototypi ng
and fur ther sur vey eval uati ons.
Page 10 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
WEB-BASED VERSION
Soon after the successful l aunch of
the Al chemi cal Quest i nteracti ve, CHF
began recei vi ng requests from vi si tors
for a versi on that woul d al l ow deeper
expl orati on of the experi ence wi thout
the l i mi ti ng factors of standi ng at
a ki osk or shari ng the experi ence
wi th vi si tors. The web versi on of The
Al chemi cal Quest i ncl uded the fol l owi ng
feature enhancements (numbers
correspond to graphi c bel ow):
1. Sl i der bar al l ows resi zi ng of pages to
vi ew detai l
2. Poi nt-and-cl i ck bookmarks for
navi gati ng between vol umes
3. Cl i cki ng book edges wi th mouse
acti vates page fl i p effect
4. Mousi ng over i ndex dots acti vates pop-
up previ ew of addi ti onal pages for easy
navi gati on
The web versi on can be accessed at
http: //www. chemheri tage. org/Vi si t/
Museum/Exhi bi ts/Al chemi cal -Quest/
Demo/i ndex. aspx
FUTURE MONKEYBOOK USES
What i f the ori gi nal product manual s for i nstruments i n CHF’s archi ves coul d
fi nd new l i fe as a novel i nteracti ve i n CHF’s l i brar y, and on i ts websi te?
CHF acqui red the necessar y equi pment and exper ti se to make thi s a possi bi l i ty
wi th the purchase of the Monkeybook. The equi pment i s has the form factor of
a book on a ki osk, but i s powered by a sensor wi th touch proj ecti on technol ogy.
Thi s al l ows vi si tors to “turn pages” on what i s essenti al l y a beam of l i ght. What
the Al chemi cal Quest exhi bi t di d for rare books can be extended.
These assets can be adapted to produce an even ri cher and more engagi ng
experi ence usi ng CHF’s archi ved i nstrument manual s. CHF archi vi sts are
encounteri ng numerous manual s that contai n el aborate photographi c schemati cs
of the i nteri ors of thei r non-functi onal i nstrument counterpar ts i n the museum.
The fi rst proj ect bei ng produced i n thi s seri es i s a techni cal manual for the
Beckman DU spectrometer. I n the same way the i nteracti ve book i s abl e to
ani mate the al chemi cal i mages and expl ai n thei r worki ngs, Thi s experi ence wi l l
ani mate the i nteri ors vi ews of the anal yti cal i nstruments and expl ai n how they
worked i n the context and desi gn sensi bi l i ti es of the 1960s techni cal manual for
the Beckman DU. CHF’s I nstrumentati on Commi ttee i s provi di ng knowl edgeabl e
suppor t for i nterpreti ve textual commentari es and vi deo i nter vi ews to be
i ncorporated i nto the experi ence as wel l .
The i nteracti ve wi l l i ncl ude a scan of the ori gi nal cover of the manual wi th
styl i zed tweaks, Content areas wi l l i ncl ude “Hi stor y and Devel opment”; “How i t
Works”; “Popul ari ty i n I ndustr y”; “Use i n Academi a”; and “Modern Legacy. ”
1
2
3
4
Page 11 • Al chemi cal Quest I nteracti ve Proj ect Repor t
MEDIA PRODUCTION FOR OTHER PLATFORMS
The Chemi cal Heri tage Foundati on brought al l of i ts outreach pl atforms to bear
for engagi ng onl i ne audi ences wi th the Al chemi cal Quest exhi bi t and i nteracti ve.
I t sought to achi eve transparency i n al l aspects of the process wi th the goal of
showcasi ng the peopl e behi nd the organi zati on. CHF used the fol l owi ng pl atforms
and tacti cs as par t of thi s outreach:
Peri odi c Tabl oi d Bl og: A seri es of posts were wri tten by proj ect team members
that showcased thei r uni que voi ces and rol es i n exhi bi t devel opment. These
i ncl uded pi eces by the rare books curator, museum di rector and the manager of
emergi ng medi a.
Di sti l l ati ons i Tunes Podcast: A conversati on between two al chemy exper ts:
James Voel kel , who curated CHF’s exhi bi t The Al chemi cal Quest, and Lawrence
Pri nci pe, author of The Secrets of Al chemy. http: //www. prx. org/pi eces/86320-
di sti l l ati ons-epi sode-158-the-al chemi cal -quest
Addi ti onal onl i ne mul ti -medi a:
Two-mi nute ti me l apse of exhi bi t i nstal l :
http: //youtu. be/3gPsorJUdw8
I nter vi ew wi th Matthew Fi sher of Ni ght Ki tchen I nteracti ve about devel opment of
the Monkeybook:
http: //youtu. be/U76Y4aBhkLU
Vi deo wal k-through of exhi bi t desi gn rati onal e wi th rare books curator:
http: //youtu. be/rgW3OSl mUZo
CHF devel oped a mobi l e tour of the
Al chemi cal Quest speci al exhi bi t usi ng
Toursphere, a framework CMS that
speci al i zes i n pl ace-based experi ences
l i ke museums and hi stori c si tes.
Speci al poi nt-of-si te (POS) pages were
bui l t for the di screte cases of the rare
books exhi bi t. Speci al features of each
POS page i ncl uded the fol l owi ng:
1. Detai l ed i mages of the book pages
that were i naccessi bl e to them under
the gl ass cases.
2. Addi ti onal text not featured i ncl uded
i n the physi cal exhi bi t.
3. Audi o “curatori al notes” by the rare
books curator that offered personal
i nsi ghts on the books and thei r
hi stori es.
4. Abi l i ty to ori ent themsel ves i n the
exhi bi t wi th an i nteracti ve map.
5. Sur vey for feedback.
The tour was responsi ve, meani ng i t
formatted the content to provi de the best
experi ence for users’ devi ces. The web-
based nature of the vi r tual tour made i t
an effecti ve product for promoti ng the
tour to potenti al vi si tors accessi ng i t
from thei r desktop computers as wel l .
DE VI C E -RE S P ONS I VE
MOBILE TOUR
1
2
3
4
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
USING BASECAMP FOR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN STAFF & DEVELOPERS
JANUARY
Ki ck-off meeti ng
Scope of Work (SOW) del i ver y
SOW contract approval
february
Di scover y Phase compl ete
Proj ect Pl an approval
Prel i mi nar y Vi sual Creati ve
Treatment (VCT) del i ver y
Prel i mi nar y VCT approval
march
Del i ver y of fi nal VCTs
Approval of fi nal VCTs
Del i ver y of prel i mi nar y content
Soci al Medi a Campai gn
apri l
Del i ver y of Al pha versi on
Approval of Al pha
Del i ver y of fi nal i zed content
Del i ver y of Beta versi on
may
Approval of Beta
Del i ver y of Gol d versi on
Approval of Gol d
June
Del i ver y of Fi nal Fi l es
I nstal l ati on of i nteracti ve
july
I ni ti al testi ng and debuggi ng
Publ i c l aunch
October-november
Uni versi ty of the Ar ts user study
The proj ect was managed through the web-based appl i cati on Basecamp
(Basecamp. com). CHF and Ni ght Ki tchen used Basecamp i n the fol l owi ng ways:
DI SCUSSI ONS:
The Di scussi ons functi on was useful for posti ng proj ect updates and questi ons
requi ri ng offi ci al response that woul d not need fur ther edi ti ng. I n par ti cul ar,
del i ver y of Al pha, Beta and Gol d rel eases were posted to Basecamp for proj ect
staff to provi de opi ni ons, whi ch were then eventual l y assi mi l ated i nto an fi nal
response.
TO-DO LI STS:
Whi l e the tradi ti onal use of to-do l i sts for assi gni ng di screte tasks to
i ndi vi dual s was used, for thi s proj ect i t al so ser ved as an outl i ni ng and tracki ng
tool . Two of the tracki ng categori es are i l l ustrated bel ow:
FI LES SHARI NG:
The “Fi l es” area of Basecamp was used to share i nterpreti ve documents,
prepared di gi ti zed i mages and offi ci al contractual documents.
Timeline

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