System Simulation / Index+ technologies upfront as London Transport Museum host MCG autumn meeting
Index+ technologies upfront as London Transport Museum host MCG autumn meeting
15th December 2008
Rob Lansdown, Assistant Director of London Transport Museum (LTM), held centre stage as keynote speaker at the Museums Computer Group autumn meeting at the museum on November 19, 2008.
Rob presented fascinating insights about the successful rebuild of the Covent Garden museum’s digital presence, and how it closely interfaces with the rebuild of the bricks and mortar museum - also a hit with visitors.
Robs presentation revealed details of System Simulation's work with the museum, which began in 1986 when we delivered an Index+ based cataloguing system for the LTM photo library.
The original version was text-based but, as technology advanced, it was developed seamlessly, adding full media support and thesaurus tools.
By 1996, working with the museum, we jointly developed the LTM Information Management System (IMS) which, in a single system, now supports all the museum’s collections, libraries, media and associated non-collections information.
The dataset now contains over 470,000 records including the complete records of the recent redisplay, entirely managed and written using the IMS.
In fact the IMS played a key role in LTM’s ‘Covent Garden Project’, as the rebuild was known. Building on its core capabilities, the system was used to develop and manage the stories, narratives, tagging, planning, meetings, project management, objects to display, layouts and even educational value assessments for the new museum.
Rob showed examples of how LTM used the System Simulation software to create gallery display boards and cabinets from specification documents, which were simply regular high quality printed Index+ reports from the IMS.
The web version of the new galleries came almost for free as the data was already held in a properly structured on-line repository and could be made available using the Index+ WebGateway.
“For us, sitting in the audience at London Transport Museum, it was extremely rewarding to hear how our systems were enabling a lot of the work that make this museum so well-ordered, so joined-up, and so sustainable,” said Michael Selway of System Simulation.
"The point was well made when Rob showed an example of a picture library catalogue entry from 1986 that made its way to the new website over 20 years later, validating our promise of sustainability in museum systems."
Rob’s talk illuminated how important past System Simulation efforts have been in the building of this well-ordered information environment.
Working together with LTM staff, at least 20 years of object and image cataloguing has been done using the IMS, all helping to build a picture of coherence that aids the current digital clarity in the institution.
London Transport Museum's IMS was built on the Index+ museum collection management system, MUSIMS. MuseumIndex+, the next generation of MUSIMS is out now, available as an upgrade or new installation.