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  • SN-0029 Creating Online Exhibits

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Creating online exhibits - Willamette University

Please fill in the following metadata about this story (and delete this line when finished!):

Collection Date:
Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name:
  • Email:
  • Title:
  • Institution/Organization:
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor:

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name:Michael Spalti
  • Email:
  • Title:Associate University Librarian for Systems
  • Institution/Organization:Willamette University

Notes on Methodology:

Describes ongoing work.


The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this story apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes?
  2. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar?
  3. Who is the intended audience of the processes described?
  4. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals?
  5. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated?


Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories.

1. Was this story collected for a particular Bamboo working group?  If so, please include, as keywords, the appropriate group(s).

  • Stories

2. Suggested keywords: Does this story contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:

4. Related Stories: Are there parts of the story that relate to other collected stories? Please provide title(s) and link to the story page. 


The collections of the art museum and archives at Willamette University reflect the life and work of several Pacific Northwest artists.  Currently, museum and archives staff create digital copies of artwork and artists' papers using a digital camera or scanner, submitting these in turn to a digital repository.  Library staff provide additional metadata services for these collections, such as controlled vocabularies, metadata mapping, and (ideally) the application of thesauri or ontologies.   In addition, museum and archives staff work with art history faculty to develop online exhibits and publications that incorporate images of artwork, personal papers, audio recordings, historical documents and interpretive essays.   The individuals involved in this work have little or no previous multimedia authoring experience, so a relatively simple-to-use authoring tool is required.

The tool chosen was the open source Pachyderm 2.0.  In 2008, the University received NEH funding to develop an Repository Open Service Interface Definition (OSID) that integrates the Pachyderm 2.0 authoring tool with the Willamette image repository -- currently running on CONTENTdm, a software application widely used for this purpose at many colleges and universities.  The artist chosen for an initial project under the NEH grant is Carl Hall, a major Pacific Northwest artist who first attracted national attention as a Magic Realist in the 1940's.

An art historian has developed the conceptual organization of the exhibit and selected the works and personal papers to be included.  He will also provide most of the textual commentary, which will subsequently be added to the exhibit by museum staff using Pachyderm (via cut-and-paste).  Meanwhile, museum and archives staff will digitize, catalog, and upload content to the digital repository.  Preliminary work on storyboarding, visualization. and the development of early prototypes will be completed.  Images and other media in the CONTENTdm repository will accessed from within the Pachyderm 2.0 authoring work flow via the repository OSID plugin. Flash presentations will be created using standard Pachyderm design templates and then customized using an online service developed at the University of British Columbia for this purpose.  Final publication involves downloading a zip file of the Flash presentation, applying customizations to the presentation directory, and copying the file to a web server.

Missing currently from the Pachyderm authoring work flow is the option of cropping images to standard dimensions.  Without this, images can be cropped only by downloading a copy from the repository, editing the image on a personal computer, and uploading the revised copy to Pachyderm 2.0.  A more complete set of authoring tools would be helpful here.  One approach to creating this editing ability is to build the tool into the Pachyderm application itself.  Another approach is to use an image server not only to retrieve images from the repository, but also to scale and crop these images on demand.  Similar basic editing capabilities would be useful for audio and video as well. 

The particulars of this story involve a team effort in which the scholar's role is largely focused on content and high-level conceptualization.  Other scholars at Willamette have a keen interest in multimedia and the process of multimedia authorship, and can articulate the possible value of methodologies that give them -- and their students -- an efficient means of multimedia publication combined with archiving for preservation and reuse of primary materials.

Other Comments:

Links to activities

Preserve materials in a digital storage facility
Image Search
Mount an Exhibition
Obtain Local Copy
Prepare an Object Through Transformation
Audio Search
Video Search



Example Link