Mile Posts on the Path to Launching a Virtual Museum

Liza Loop, LO*OP Center, Inc., USA

During the past year and a half, LO*OP Center, Inc. has been on the road from a mixed media collection of documents, software and artifacts stored in cartons and on shelves to a complex web site entitled History of Computing in Learning and Education Virtual Museum. In this forum, Founder and Vision Keeper, Liza Loop, will introduce you to the highlights of this journey so far and invite you to compare and contrast her experience with your own. Participants may wish to prepare two sets of notes to share: 1) a schematic showing the major tasks you see (or saw) as necessary to be accomplished prior to the public launch of your site; 2) a detailed list of resources you have called upon including hardware, software, hosting services, outside consultants, user groups, partner institutions and in-house staff.

Depending on the interests of the people who attend the forum, we may emphasize one or more of the following topics: exploring the possible functions of a virtual museum; preparing and digitizing collections; databases for content, collections and contact management; staffing and funding a virtual museum; challenges of everyday operation of an online site; styles, outreach and management of your online community. Since each of these topics is worthy of a separate conference session please don’t expect an in-depth exposition of each topic. Rather, see this forum as the start of an ongoing conversation.

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