From Collections to Connections – Insights from a Curatorial/ Web Content Intern

Hi there, Mariko here. I had a week off from my internship last week, and am now back at work again with my Indigenous Communities collection research project on a select group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and their artworks.

I was very keen to get back to the museum – not just because I have heaps of work to do (which I really do…) – but also because I heard George Clooney was in town and hanging out at Pyrmont and Darling Harbour, tantalisingly close to the Wharf 7 building.

Unfortunately, George didn’t stick around long enough to fit in with this week’s internship schedule, however I managed to pull myself together and get on with the tasks at hand. This included continuing on with my object and artist record updating (for both the museum’s internal collections management system and for potential audience-facing material); kicking off the image reproduction approval process with emails; and working on a fun activity which will be the focus of this blog post today.

This activity marks the next stage of my project to combine object and artist biographical information in a geographical context, and plugging the research into the form of a Google map.

Since this is a prototype and still very much a work-in-progress, I haven’t included a visual of it here, but in case you’re not familiar with this great interweb tool – here’s a mock-up showing the museum’s (and George Clooney’s previous) location.

Google Map of Australian National Maritime Museum
View Australian National Maritime Museum in a larger map

We are hoping to use the finished product on the museum’s website to provide visitors with a way to connect the artworks with the actual physical locations they are related to – whether this may be the places they were made, or the places that inspired or featured in the artwork. The idea is to demonstrate that these objects have a life and presence beyond the museum and online space, and especially for many Indigenous Australians, showing the strong influence of country on life and culture. It is also something which could be easily replicated for other objects and collections.

Next week will be my last post for 2011, so I thought it would be fitting to do a re-cap of the Indigenous-related exhibitions the museum has been involved with this year.

Cheers, Mariko

PS – If you missed my last post, you can read it here.

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