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Weekly Roundup: Museums in the News 6/2/2017

Category: Alliance Blog

Happy weekend! This week’s Roundup shares stories about commitments to environmental sustainability, collection digitization (advances and detractions) and a hateful incident at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

1. Earlier this week President Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord. There have been a multitude of responses to this action, notably that mayors, governors, and business leaders across the country are explicitly continuing to commit to agreement. Museum consultant Sarah Sutton shares ideas for how your museum can join the cause and commit to environmental sustainability.

Museums, Zoos, Sites: Join Your City in Signing the Paris Agreement

The New York Times is reporting on mayors, governors, universities, and businesses bidding to be allowed to sign the Paris Agreement. Let’s add museums, zoos, gardens, historic sites, and aquariums to the list.

2. So there’s this thing with a super geeky name of IIIF (pronounced “triple eye eff”) that is poised to substantially improves how researchers, curators, and the general public access, interact with, and collaborate using digital images. Don’t be put off by the terminology and check out this announcement of the Getty Museum’s release of 30,000 images with new tools to zoom, compare, and annotate images.

30,000 Getty Museum Images Published Online as IIIF

Today we published more than 30,000 images from the Getty Museum’s collection on using IIIF. You can see and click on the red-and-blue logo underneath the main image of any of the Museum collections, such as Van Gogh’s Irises, to explore our content through any IIIF-compatible viewer. W

3. The Yale Center for British Art also made available nearly 70,000 artwork images in the public domain as IIIF, supporting enriched image use, including comparing, manipulating, and annotating multiple images within and across collections.

News | Yale Center for British Art

Yale Center for British Art Adds Online Collection Images into Groundbreaking International Cooperative System for Research Press Release (pdf; 1.07 mb)

4. While the Getty, Yale and many others are continuing to explore how to make digital collections more open, accessible, and useful to people around the world, Tristram Hunt, the new head of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, expressed a contrary opinion wondering whether museums should focus their resources on “sticking all this stuff out there for free with variable quality”. This article left me scratching my head. What do you think?

Museum visitors seek refuge from digital world

Museums are rethinking the rush to digitise their collections amid concerns that such projects are costly and of little value to the public, Tristram Hunt has said. In recent years museums and galleries around the globe have ploughed money into creating online archives.

5. Closing out on a somber and disturbing note, a noose was found in the galleries of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum’s founding director, Lonnie Bunch, called the incident “a painful reminder of the challenges that African-Americans continue to face.

Opinion | Sneaking a noose into a museum is a hateful act – and a cowardly one

The news has delivered a dismal catalogue of racist incidents in recent months, and yesterday added two to the tally: Racist graffiti was spray-painted on the gate at Cleveland Cavaliers’ star LeBron James’ Los Angeles home, and here in Washington, a noose was discovered in a gallery devoted to the history of segregation at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Do you have a great museum story to share?

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