This week I’m attending (and presenting– EEP!) at the 2014 Museum Computer Network Conference. This year’s theme, “Think Big, Start Small, Create” encourages cultural heritage professionals to approach collaboration and change in new ways. As a small museum employee, the “started from the bottom now we’re here” mentality is status quo. Thinking big and starting small is what we do. But there’s always more to learn and I’m ready to dig into it.
The first sessions kicked off today and already some big questions have been posed:
- How do you take direction on projects from leaders with low digital literacy?
- (on being a change agent and new to a museum position) Where do I start?
- (on “open authority”) How are we using the term authority?
- Who benefits from open authority?
- Is progress actually the goal of museums?
I’m not going to pretend I have easy answers to these questions but each one is definitely worth exploring.
Washington, D.C.’s The Phillips Collection has a treasure trove of material culture related to artist Jacob Lawrence and is asking for help making it accessible. The Phillips’ planned interactive microsite will feature rarities such as unseen interviews of the artist, biographical materials, and archival photos. The highlight: high-resolution images of Lawrence’s breathtaking sixty-panel “The Migration Series” which chronicles the first massive movement of over a million African-Americans from rural Southern states to urban locales in the Northeast, West, and Midwest between the two World Wars, known as the Great Migration. [Note: My family was part of the over five-million-strong Second Great Migration departing Mississippi and Tennessee for Missouri in the 1950s.]
Painting of Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (Cecil Calvert), Florence MacKubin (1861-1918), 1910 via Wikipedia Commons
This week I’m attending the Museums & the Web conference in Baltimore, Maryland. This is the 18th annual gathering “featuring advanced research and exemplary applications of digital practice for cultural, natural and scientific heritage.” I’m ready to hear it all: successes, failures, frustrations, brags, and refinements.
Hopefully there will also be time for great conversations, #drinkingaboutmuseums, museum hopping, and crabcakes–tasty, tasty crabcakes.
Follow the conference on Twitter at @museweb and #MW2014 and on Instagram.