Culture Victoria

Eureka gets an Online Makeover

By News

Asa Letourneau from the Public Record Office Victoria talks about new ways of presenting exhibitions online.

The Status Quo

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV), like many organisations, has traditionally created online exhibitions to promote and engage with researchers with the collection. The exhibitions have generally consisted of long html scrolling pages in which records are deeply embedded. The exhibitions themselves have varied from 10 to 100 heavily nested web pages in length. Needless to say, sharing the entire exhibition as well as individual records has been incredibly difficult, and the option for researchers to explore and share individual records separate from the exhibition text, cumbersome and an extremely manual process.

Breaking the mould

Recently, a new digital collection display platform, Google Open Gallery came to PROV’s attention. The platform will allow us to do some very powerful things with our collection material that we hope will go some way to changing the way researchers can experience records, either as part of a curated exhibition with associated interpretive text, or simply as a collection of curated records that can be explored on their own terms. The option to set the records ‘free’ also comes with the added benefit of being able to share either the entire exhibition or individual records. And all it takes is a few lines of code automatically generated by Google Open Gallery.

The code allows anyone to embed the entire exhibition along with its functionality into a webpage without needing any skills apart from being able to copy and paste! In addition to embedding the entire exhibition anyone can share it or even share individual records.

For the first time the new platform has also given us the ability to offer researchers a rich search experience to explore the 224 items we have already loaded into Google Open Gallery.

To see all this in action visit the exhibition on PROV's website at
http://prov.vic.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/eureka-on-trial

Given the upcoming 160th commemoration of Eureka on December 3rd we thought it made sense to explore the new Google Open Gallery platform with our beloved Eureka on Trial exhibition. We have also offered a number of organisations the opportunity to embed the exhibition into their own websites, so if you would like to join them please let us know with an email to media[at]prov.vic.gov.au

This post has been written by Asa Letourneau, Project Officer, Communications and Online Transformation, Public Record Office Victoria.

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