Added by Jennifer Anderson, last edited by Confluence Admin on May 28, 2009  (view change)


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This is an archive of a class taught in 2008


The evolving schedule here is entirely provisional. Please help out by correcting or improving any references included.

Week 2: Overview of Museum Informatics

  • Marty, P., Rayward, W.B., Twidale M.B. (2003). Museum Informatics. In B. Cronin (Ed.), Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. Vol. 37. Medford: Information Today. 259-294. DOI: 10.1002/aris.1440370107

Week 3: Museum Websites

Week 4: State of the Art in Museums and the Web

Complete the in-class website analysis activity

Same place as in class : Website Analysis
You should be able to add several more issues, and also examples from your website of issues other people raised
You may have something to say good or bad about the site you studied where you can talk about it, and why it struck you as worth reporting (maybe it was the one you raised in class, maybe another). If you can identify the issue associated with it, great, if not, just note the point and the illustrative URL and maybe someone else will adopt it and incorporate it in an issue.
Also try and tidy up the wiki page by grouping together related things.
You don't have to do a complete tidy up, or a complete rewrite.
But if two issues are similar, why not move them next to each other
if two are sub-parts of a bigger explore bulleted sublists. Hint: try two asterisks and see what happens.
As a minimum, you are expected to make several small contributions and do a bit of the collective tidying up as we go.

Reading assignment - trawling M&W for ideas

Look through the table of contents of the last four Museums and the Web Conferences:
Click on a few papers that look promising and skim through them rapidly
Pick one paper that particularly interests you, perhaps on a topic you might consider doing your final project on.
Read it carefully. Read at least two of the papers it cites - or that cite it (try accessing via Google Scholar, ACM DL or our library:, or two other papers from Museums and the Web that are on the same topic.
Post a brief summary of the paper on the wiki: M&W Papers
Be ready to discuss the core ideas in class.

Week 5: The Usability of Museum Websites

Read one carefully, skim the others:

  • Cunliffe, D., Kritou, E., & Tudhope, D. (2001). Usability evaluation for museum websites. Museum Management and Curatorship 19(3), 229-252. (N.B. You have to go in via the UIUC library link in order to be validated and get access).
  • Vergo, J., & Karat, C.-M., et al. (2001). "less clicking, more watching": Results from the user-centered design of a multi-institutional web site for arts and culture. In D. Bearman & J. Trant (Eds.), Museums and the Web 2001 (pp. 23-32).

Email me with your current thinking about what you MIGHT do your final project on. You are not committing to this - you can change it. But you have to pick something.

Week 6: Exploring a project topic

Create your own project page on the wiki as a link from this page Projects
It will be private to the class (we can see what you do - outsiders can't).
Include a brief description of your project - this is a very rough project proposal.

Do a first pass at constructing a reading list relating to your project area.
This will inform your proposal as well as the overall project.
It does not have to be complete. You will be revising it over the weeks.
It is to serve as a resource for in-class investigations.

It should include at least 5 items (more is better). Each item should contain:

  • a decently formatted citation
  • a link if it is available online, or a pointer to more info (say, Amazon for a book). If there is a project website, point to that as well
  • a very brief summary of what it is about, or what you think it is about

Also include a summary of how you searched:

  • databases used (examples: Google, Google Scholar, ACM DL, CiteSeer, Museums & Web procs, IEEE Explore, etc.)
  • the queries you used (e.g.: "mixed reality" museum collaborative)
    This information will be used later as we examine more systematic ways to explore the state of the art.

Make sure you read thoroughly at least a couple of the most promising looking articles and at least skim the top 5.
You are expected to be able to talk knowledgeably about what you have found out about what others are doing - and what you think about the strengths and weaknesses of their approaches. This will eventually inform what you will do, but if you are currently rather vague about that part - don't worry.

Week 7 (Feb 26): The Museum Informatics Professional

  • Marty, P.F. (2007). The Changing Nature of Information Work in Museums. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58 (1), 97-107.
  • Jörgensen, C. (2004). Unlocking the museum: A manifesto. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 55, 462-464.

Paper Prototyping

Bring scrap paper, colored pens, stickies, other art material to class.
Also bring screenshots, printouts or pictures of artifacts relating to your project.
We will practice paper prototyping.
Look at these for background information:

Week 8 (Mar 4): Technologically Mediated Museum Visits & Social Interaction

Week 9 (Mar 11): Mixed Reality

  • Galani, A., & Chalmers, M. (2002). Can You See Me? Exploring Co-Visiting Between Physical and Virtual Visitors. In D. Bearman & J. Trant (Eds.), Museums and the Web 2002 (pp. 31-40). Pittsburgh, PA: Archives and Museum Informatics.
  • Schnädelbach H., Kolvea B., Twidale M.B., Benford S. (2004). The Iterative Design Process of a Location-aware Device for Group Use. Proceedings of Ubicomp2004, Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol 3205. 329-346.

Spring Break

Week 10 (Mar 25): No Class: Working on your term project


Complete and submit your Project Proposal. Draft Due: Friday Mar 28 Final: Tues Apr 1
This will most likely be an elaboration of your existing project idea, but you still have time to radically change your idea if you want.
You should continue to search around for ideas that can help inspire your design work, building on your earlier information search.
You can find ideas from various sources:

  • Museum projects you find out about from their surfing their websites, and getting recommendations from other people and other sources
  • Skimming relevant journals and conference proceedings
  • More focussed online searching:
    • Google for general information, news reports of projects, etc.
    • Google Scholar and the ACM Digital Library for research papers
      • Tip: make a list of keywords you might search on
    • Citation chaining backwards and forwards in time from research papers you have found particularly useful

Optional readings on design methods

Week 11 (Apr 1): Representation of information in museums

Homework activity

Explore at least two online museum collections databases to get a feel for how they have represented information.
Look carefully at just a few records.
Consider how the information is represented and organized into data fields, the different ways it is done, what is recorded and how it varies from artifact to artifact, and from artifact type to artifact type within and between different collections.
Try to relate what you see to the issues raised in the readings.
Make notes on interesting examples you find and be ready to be picked on to discuss these issues in class.
Example Collections (you can pick others)

Have a look at:
Try editing some of the entries in the demo digital collection. It's OK, they tidy up periodically.

Week 12 (Apr 8): PDAs in Museums

  • Katz S. et al. Preparing Personalized Multimedia Presentations for a Mobile Museum Visitors' Guide - a Methodological Approach, in J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds.). Museums and the Web 2006: Proceedings, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, published March 1, 2006 at

In class activity: Personalization Technologies

Week 13 (Apr 15): Museums and 3D worlds

Week 14 (Apr 22): Web Mashups

Lots of short articles and examples. Skim them all. Investigate more carefully those that grab your interest. if you find some better articles or examples of mashups, add them in.

  • Ellis, M., and B. Kelly, Web 2.0: How to Stop Thinking and Start Doing: Addressing Organisational Barriers. In J. Trant and D. Bearman (eds). Museums and the Web 2007: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, published March 31, 2007 at

museum-like mashups

interesting projects

In-class Activity: assessing Interactive Software

Week 15 (Apr 29): Project Presentations I

Exam Week (May 6) 1:30pm : Project Presentations II

No class readings for this week - get up to date on related work for your projects
Project Format