From tagging to storytelling: enriching museum collections.

Authors Dr. Harry van Vliet, Erik Hekman
Publication date 1 April 2010
Type Lecture


The web is widely used by museums as a low-barrier platform to inform people on activities in the museum and publish their collections online. It is not uncommon that this publishing consists of an simple web interface connected to a database that holds records with limited information about the artifacts; information that is more relevant for managing the collection than for informing a wider public. It is not uncommon for a description to have no reference at all to that what is visible in the picture. Moreover this situation is hardly a worst-case scenario. In the Netherlands over 20 million artifacts in museums await a description, artifacts that do have a (scanty) description only half of them is available digitally. Four museums in the Netherlands (Naturalis, Museon, University Museum Utrecht, Dutch Institute of Image & Sound) together with three research and knowledge institutes (University of Applied Science Utrecht, Novay, BMC Group) decided in 2008 to explore the potential of user groups tagging collections and the effects of this on the involvement of these people towards the museum. For this purpose a dedicated social tagging tool was developed and implemented:

Language English
Key words Museums, Social tagging, Web 2.0, Digital storytelling, Crossmedialab

Erik Hekman