Today, I was surfing through the website Connection to Collections (http://www.connectingtocollections.org/). I was looking through the webinar section and I saw a webinar I hadn’t seen before. It was called Using Collections Images in Online Exhibits. It was about the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection using Omeka to showcase photos that were held within their collection. As I read more of the abstract I kept finding similarities between the focus of the webinar and what could done towards the Cairn, if the future of social networking for the museum lies within Instagram. To find out more I listened to the webinar and found out that it’s Manager of the Image Shalimar White wanted to create a digital collection where they could provide educational information as well as gain information what is within their collection. To set out this goal they completed a step by step process where they gathered the right information research by a vast team made up of other scholars, interns, libraries, etc. After this was completed they turned to Omeka the same site the MWM uses for the Cairn. When published they promoted it and found it successful in many ways.
After cataloging a lot of photographs at the museum I have seen that there are a lot of stories to tell that is in the collection. Also with the social media focus turning more towards Instagram this webinar made the possibility of The Cairn being a place to showcase collections. Before I have researched and seen different websites that use Omeka as a place to showcase exhibits. However this webinar was better and more eye-opening as it broke down and showed the process piece by piece which made the process seem easier to go by if attempted. With the MWM having a good size collection with a lot of stories to tell mini-exhibits can be created for the site. With already having Omeka it would be easy to turn the site into one which held small exhibits. Also the Contribute page could be continued and people could upload pictures related to the exhibits posted showing how there are connections between collections and everyday life in the White Mountains.
One of the things that struck me as important within the webinar was how they kept a blog showing the development of the collection they were about to publish through Omeka. White discussed how it helped build an audience for the exhibit. She also mentioned how promoting it on social networking sites on Facebook helped too. I thought about if the MWM did this, they too could promote on Facebook and show through Instagram the process of creating collections for the Cairn. Another thing that struck me was how it was a good tool to learn more about the contents within a museum’s collection. As the items of a collection are compiled and separated through collections it shows an insight to the culture and identity of a museum. It the Cairn was developed into one where it displayed exhibits it wouldn’t only be a tool to learn for visitors it would be a tool for museum professionals and interns to learn more about the culture and identity of the museum’s collection.