Visiting the Museums of Auckland yields all sorts of discoveries but it’s not the only way to explore their collections. Museums and galleries around the world are investing in the digitisation of their collections to ensure the public has greater access than ever before. So even if you can’t step inside one of the Museums of Auckland today, you can still access hundreds – or even hundreds of thousands – of their collection items from your nearest device.
Online collections provide access to records and images of objects, artworks, photographs, specimens and documentary heritage items in museum and gallery collections. You can search the Museums of Auckland online collections for a specific object or artwork – to find out more about an item that you already know is in the collection – or you can use broad search terms for topic studies or you can simply browse the collections for inspiration or to discover something new.
Auckland Museum has embraced the global museum trend toward ‘open collections’ and through its Collections Online project has already made more than one million catalogue records and more than 300,000 images available to search. The ‘open source’ approach adopted by the Auckland Museum means these records and images are free, open and downloadable under a Creative Commons BY license, and around 2000 new objects are being added to the online collections every month.
Auckland Museum’s Director of Collections & Research, David Reeves says providing this access allows people to make their own discoveries and engage with the museum’s natural, social and cultural collections on their own terms.
Auckland Art Gallery’s website reveals more than 16,500 records relating to artworks in their collections and details each work’s title, artist, production date, medium and size.
Well-honed search functions make it easy to explore the body of work for different artists, and Auckland Art Gallery’s website provides insightful curatorial notes for some works and mini biographies for a number of artists in their collection.