The National Park Service (NPS) Museum Management Program has re-launched its Web Catalog museum collections website. This project is an ongoing initiative that supports the Director’s Call to Action #17, “Go Digital” by providing online access to thousands of images and records from the NPS museum collections.
NPS museum collections include more than 43 million objects and over 72,000 linear feet of archives that have unique associations with park cultural and natural resources, eminent figures, and park histories. The majority of NPS museum collections are inaccessible to potential users and the public. Through the Web Catalog, park staffs make selected museum catalog records and images available online, featuring highlights from the NPS collections and increasing public access to them.
Currently, 72 park collections are featured on the site, showcasing nearly two million objects and millions of archival items. A mobile version of the Web Catalog is being tested and is scheduled for launch by February 2013. The Web Catalog will be continually updated with new content.
The redesigned Web Catalog includes new enhancements and features, including:
- A dynamic user-friendly interface. Online visitors can perform simple or advanced searches by keyword, park name, object name, people, places, and date. The homepage features a weekly collection highlight, park of the week, and objects of the week.
- Collection highlights. Visitors can view groups of objects that represent specific themes, types of object or objects from a particular place.
- Park collection summaries. Every park is represented on the Web Catalog at the collection summary level. For parks that have collections online, their collection summary page shows objects and collection highlights from their collections.
The Web Catalog can be accessed at http://museum.nps.gov/. A series of blogs featuring parks and collection highlights is also available at http://npscollections.
Funds for the Web Catalog project were provided by the NPS Cultural Resources, Partnerships and Science Directorate. Work was completed through a collaborative partnership between the NPS Museum Management Program and Southern Appalachian Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.