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					Respond Quest                               Question 3                         Question 4
entId     ion 2
    59642 Yes   Ceramics and other          straightforward access - a clear V&A museum ceramics
                related to art and design   route to the catalogue; good     collections
                and art/design histories    images that download quickly;
                                            indications re further
                                            information and/or someone
                                            who acts as a point of contact,
                                            is willing to discuss etc.

    59666 Yes     National Archives, Local ?                                   N/A
                  Records Offices,
                  University COllections

    59668 Yes     soc hist./ war. / family Quickness of finding research       I find IWM colls imposs
                  hist/ banner colls/ for  info. this was less impt when I     to search. PHM
                  both home and work use lived in London with its spread       museum a model of
                                           of libraries but here in Norfolk    ease and accessibility.
                                           the net is invaluable. I am sure    Both to their credit
                                           this must apply to all rural        have good follow
                                           areas. good search facility -       through facility so that
                                           plenty of keywords. speed.          if one fails inone's
                                           photos really help                  internet search, one
                                                                               can contact a member
                                                                               of staff.

    59672 Yes     Revolutionary Players:    Purely the instant accessability   Revolutionary Players -
                  www.revolutionaryplayer   of data. Although research at      absolutely brilliant!
         Design Archive   museums and other sites is still   The Times Digital
                  at Brighton University:   a requirement, the ability to      Archives (through
                  photos, magazines,        retrieve information quickly       various libraries) -
                  periodicals. B'ham        from a remote location is          essential for digging
                  Central library: The      paramount.                         out the detail.
                  Times Digital Archive
                  Various others... too
                  many to list here!
59684 Yes   Glass       Most are fairly useless unable    Small images,
                        to provide any positive           inaccurate, incomplete
                        examples.                         or missing descriptions.

59770 Yes   Archives.   1. It enables access w/o          1. The American
                        physical presence which is        Museum of Natural
                        better than no access at all.     History has posted
                        However, physical presence is     expedition reports and
                        always the best. 2. A brief       field
                        description of, or hint at,       diaries/correspondence
                        content. Linkage to scanned-      along this line. Their
                        in/transcribed material is        transcriptions are sub-
                        especially helpful, though only   par, last time I looked,
                        when the original can be          but the originals often
                        compared to the transcription.    are provided and that
                                                          helps to clarify. 2.
                                                          Georgetown University
                                                          Teilhard de Chardin's
                                                          collection has fairly
                                                          substantive treatment.
                                                          I've also had good
                                                          results with archives in
                                                          Europe, Australia and
59785 Yes   Archaeology, Egyptology Images of the objects              The Petrie Museum of
                                    measurements of the objects        Egyptian Archaeology
                                                                       has an excellent online
                                                                       catalogue with images
                                                                       that I consult regulary
                                                                       as it is immediately
                                                                       apparent from the
                                                                       image whether the
                                                                       description is accurate.
                                                                       So often, entries are
                                                                       done by a volunteer or
                                                                       general curator with no
                                                                       Egyptology knowledge
                                                                       and things are
                                                                       misidentified or mis-
                                                                       spelt. The Pitt Rivers
                                                                       Museum online
                                                                       catalogue is perhaps
                                                                       the most
                                                                       comprehensive I have
                                                                       encountered and by
                                                                       noting all the
                                                                       associated information
                                                                       i.e. not just an object
                                                                       description but where it
                                                                       was found, by whom
                                                                       and when it is possible
                                                                       again to identify objects
                                                                       that have otherwise
                                                                       been mis-described
                                                                       (e.g. the site name that
59945 Yes   University library       key words that get to the         was of interest to me
                                                                       search that can be
                                     answers quickly and easily        made via author, title or
                                                                       key words

59960 Yes   Museum of London       ease of finding them...
            Collection, Exeter
            useums finds catalogue

60525 Yes   Canal Historical        Indexes, photos, ability to copy   Not sure if you mean
            Records, Photos, Glass, items for reference, good          examples of things that
                                    search engine, sites that work     work well, or sites to
                                    properly                           look at?
60560 Yes   Social History Art     Simple search ie one with only    Peoples History
            Egyptology Archaeology one box to complete. Not          Muaseum website has
                                   having to use specific museum     a nice simple search
                                   terminolgy in a search Being      Manchester Art Gallery
                                   able to search across different
                                   museum disciplines/collections
                                   in one search. Not having too
                                   much information presented in
                                   one go. Having simple
                                   personal stories related to
60965 Yes   Modern Art, Drawings,  The accessibility of the          Fast access to web
            Sculpture, Private     information, the quickness and    pages, quickly and
            Collections and        readiness of the information      easy to find; a process
            Galleries, Public      accessed, the quality and size    to be completed fast;
            Museums                of the images, the accuracy of    clearly defined pictures
                                   data offered on the artist and    of the works, -
                                   the work, good links.             preferably not showing
                                                                     the pixels - and
                                                                     contrasted information
                                                                     in the data offered,
                                                                     related if possible to
                                                                     relevant historians and
                                                                     investigators; linkage
                                                                     to pages leading to
                                                                     accurate bibliography
                                                                     and investigation
                                                                     studies, university
                                                                     departments and
                                                                     investigation centres.

61266 Yes   Manuscript; Primary    The inclusion of thumbnail        Not a public archive,
            Documents; Photograph; images and/or low-resolution      but the Corbis
            and Film               previews for manuscripts,         collection provides a
                                   photographs, and film; the        very useful interface for
                                   inclusion of verbose              searching/refining and
                                   descriptions beyond official      previewing
                                   titles and classifications for    photographs (as does
                                   documents                         the Imperial War
                                                                     Museum, although the
                                                                     percentage of their
                                                                     photo collection online
                                                                     is comparatively small).
                                                                     Similarly, the Pathe site
                                                                     is useful for previewing
                                                                     video clips (although its
                                                                     search functionality is
                                                                     less forgiving than
61325 Yes   Herbarium collections     Location of specimen             I have later visited a
                                      (definitely there) and the       herbarium (Madrid) as I
                                      collection data.                 knew the specimen
                                                                       was there in the
61438 Yes   Botanical collection of   JPEG images of the item are      BG-Base at the Royal
            herbaria and living       nice to have, such as digitised Botanic Garden
            plants - BG-Base          herbaria. Taxonomic heirarchy Edinburgh has a
                                      on natural history collections   system where you can
                                      are also nice to have,           find the taxonomic
                                      especially if the item cannot be ranking of a plant.
                                      identified to species level, but Plymouth City Museum
                                      can be put into a genus or       have photographed all
                                      family. I like to be able to re- of their Barstow
                                      trace by steps online as well.   minerals and have put
                                                                       the database with its
                                                                       images online. This is
                                                                       really nice as it makes
                                                                       it more interactive for
                                                                       the general public, but
                                                                       also gives you some
                                                                       idea about the size and
                                                                       beauty of the

62145 Yes   Archives, paintings,      Ability to conduct free searches    Images labelled the
            decorative objects,       of sub-narrative descriptions.      dock strike in Hull
            ephemera                  For instance a person or place.     actually showed the
                                      In other words, to be able to       interior of an emigrant
                                      search for information that a       shed that was of great
                                      curator often assumes people        use for the study of
                                      would want to know when in          immigration
                                      reality they may have other         Documents regarding a
                                      collections that are relevant but   fisherman working out
                                      which have been labelled            of Hull revealed he had
                                      differently for some reason         been born in Russia -
                                                                          and so was an
                                                                          Photographs of a
                                                                          medical isolation in
                                                                          Kent actually showed
                                                                          facilities for the Port of
                                                                          London used to
                                                                          medically isolate
                                                                          diseased immigrants
                                                                          arriving in London
                                                                          Photographs of people
                                                                          on a ship actually
                                                                          showed the victims of a
                                                                          disaster who had been
                                                                          landed at Kent
63106 Yes   Paper archive   Detailed information on the       The Imperial War
            collections     contents of the archive is        Museum's document
                            available, information on study   catalogues provide
                            and access facilities are         useful introductions to
                            provided                          the archive material
                                                              and this allows you to
                                                              easily select what you
                                                              will want to see and
                                                              order the correct
Question 5                            Question 6                    Question
knowing they exist but not being      too many to rember                    1   1   1   1   1   1   2
able to navigate to them without      particular examples!
spending time finding them;
difficulties downloading

Poor search facilities                N/A                                  1    1   1   1   1   2   1

slowness poor input of data (in       I'd cite any museum that             3    3   1   1   2   2   4
NMAS Kings Lynn coll catalgue         has a website and
leaves a lot to be desired            doesn't make it clear that
because it is inconsistent in the     it has/hasn't an online
way data has been entered)            catalogue. I'd like all
(Sorry KL, this isn't sniping at my   museums to state their
colleagues but just the example I     status in this respect. I
have to hand)                         have spent time
                                      seqarching for a
                                      catalogue that doesn't
                                      exist. We have come to
                                      expect catalogues and
                                      need to be told if they are
                                      not there. Plus give
                                      contact info for enquiries.

If a decent search facility is not -            3    2   2   1   1   1   1
available. Sometimes not being        for Patent searches.
given full access to material.        Getting better but
Having to pay to access 'public'      sometimes records are
material. Sites mired in              not available.
                                      for finding Registered
                                      Designs. Unclear
                                      instructions, badly
                                      designed, far too many
                                      search options makes it
                                      difficult to locate what
                                      you want, I have never
                                      found a design number
                                      using this page:
Unimaginative, hard to locate    Scran                       1   1   1   1   1   1   1
other than by browsing.

Not having a clue as to what        Hmmmm, I've never kept   1   4   1   1   1   4   1
they're talking about. Just not     track of that.
being able to get a feel for actual
content one way or another.
when there is only one search                                 1   2   1   1   1   1   1
field When there is a large
'picture unavailable' sign

have experienced no problems         ----------               1   1   1   1   2   3   1

search forms that only allow use                              1   2   2   1   2   3   2
of keyword searches and don't
return objects that you know are
search engines which return          Can't find examples at   2   1   1   1   1   1   1
irrelevant results, or that cannot   this time. (Have not
be used intelligently e.g. by        bookmarked the bad
Boolean search options, or           ones!)
keywords, or exact phrase, etc.
Poorly designed sites that are
hard to find things in.
Too much going on on one page. Natural History Museum     1   1   2   2   3   1   3
Not having images associated
with object catalogues - hate to
see image currently not available.
Having to register or sign in on a
website Having to download plug

All that against the former. In     The Thyssen-          1   2   2   1   1   1   1
particular, they tend to pay more   Bornemisza Museum
attention to the size than to the   catalogue, the MoMA
story of the work and the           catalogue
historical background.

Catalogues like the National           See above.         2   2   1   1   1   1   1
Archives/PRO that tend to return
long lists of formal titles and little
additional detail to help
researchers refine their searches.
Sometimes difficult to find and         Natural History Museum      1   2   2   2   1   3   2
even to know they exist.

Some lack vital information and         I cannot think of any off   2   1   2   1   3   2   3
others are really difficult to read     hand, but they are out
(too much information). If its dull     there. What is
or difficult to read then no one will   interesting is that I
use it and that upsets me. I like       cannot remember any of
to feel that the general public and     them - I guess that
academics are able to access our        shows you how bad they
collection data and not be bored        were!
or frustrated by it.

When they do not allow free text        National Maritime           1   2   1   2   1   2   3
search When the catalogue               Museum at Greenwich -
incorrectly restricts searches          information for archive
within a collection for the sake of     searches reveals
compartmentalising information          information on everything
When the server keeps crashing          in their library Hull
When the results cannot be              Museums Service -
searched                                searches reveal
                                        information but nothing
                                        appears when one clicks
                                        for further information
Not being able to access more      The National Gallery's       1   2   1   2   1   2   1
detailed information online,       archive catalogue doesn't
general information about          yet give very detailed
collections doesn't allow you to   information about what is
assess what might be available.    in the collection although
                                   when you visit the
                                   archive the staff are very
                                   knowledgeable and
                                   Question 8

catalogue texts are often dry      the possibility of visitors to the
and lack awareness of how          catalogue contributing specialised
3D objects may be used -           knowledge to the archive if they
they rarely, for example,          have it
include any account of the
haptic qualities of an object

This is an odd question as
really all the questions can
only answer as 1st as
otherwise the collection in
Digi docs such as on NRO           We need to have ways of means
website are amazing for            for small independent local
research. Haven't yet found a      museums to get online. Training
museum archive as well             and grants towards
developed. Not bothered            equipment/website building costs
about comprehensiveness.           are urgently needed. The small
Any sound catalogue info is        museums have a real role on the
better than none, but              internet especially with this
incomplete coverage must be        microhistory growth industry. They
flagged up. e.g. a rough % of      cannot make their colls available in
colls on line given                this way without help.

I hope the research proves
fruitful and leads to better co-
operation for researchers,
particulary for obtaining full
and open access of public
archives, without the need to
pay fees (I certainly can't
afford it). Public records
should be centrally funded for
the public's good!
Unrealistic fees are exclusive Keep it simple, multiple views are
for individual researchers.    vital, detailed descriptions, sources
                               of information and references.
                               Avoid fancy web-tools that require
                               software to be installed.

                               Remember the independent
Ability to narrow search down I do not like on-line magazine
to required area is important; catalogues that end by requiring
i.e. not to be faced with sifting payment to receive full articles
through a lot of unwanted

Catalogues need to be easy        Testing sites with people who don't
to use and comprehensive.         know how it works is vital. The site
Those which just have a one       designer knows how it works. Keep
line description and no details   sites simple and don't use fancy
or images are frustrating and     features just because you can.
pretty worthless to an online     Avoid Flash and suchlike, they are
researcher.                       not user-friendly and are
                                  inaccessible to disabled users.
I realize I said virtually
everything is important -- if I
had to settle on two attributes
as being truly important, it'd
be 'details in individual
catalogue entries' and
'images in catalogue entries';
if a catalogue is
comprehensive but provides
little useful detail, it's not
going to meet my needs. Far
better, in my opinion, to start
as the Imperial War Museum
photo archive has done and
do a subset of their collection
well, with the expectation that
they can expand quality
listings at a future date.
I think it is important that an
instituation considers its
audience before designing an
online catalogue. I have just
been designing an online
resource for a university
herbarium and I have made it
really interactive by using a
lunar eclipse package. I hope
that this will help the lecturers
in using the database for
teaching purposes.
Online catalogues of archive
material for regional museums are
very rare, largely because these
resources are uncatalogued.
Would be great to see more of this
information become available

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