MUSEUMS COMPUTER GROUP
One-Day Meeting at The Natural History Museum, London
Tuesday 7th September 1999
Sponsored by Ardent Software
This meeting will consist of a series of presentations covering aspects of
IT within The Natural History Museum of relevance to other disciplines.
Because we are expecting a large attendance, the meeting will take place in
our main lecture theatre and we hope to have some demonstrations set up
nearby. Unfortunately, again due to expected numbers, we are unable to
organise tours during the day, although, for those who will be attending the
MDA/CIDOC Conference, there will be a half-day tour of The Natural History
Museum on Monday 6th September.
* There is no charge for this meeting. Members and non-members are welcome.
* Tea and Coffee will be provided. Lunch can be obtained from the staff
refectory in The Natural History Museum or from public restaurants in The
Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum, and
also from Imperial College.
* Parking is virtually non-existent; you are advised to travel by public
transport. The nearest Underground Station is South Kensington, which is 5
minutes walk from the Museum.
* The meeting will start at 10.00 and finish at 17.00. Doors will open at
09.30 and cloakroom facilities will be provided. IMPORTANT NOTE: Delegates
should use the Earth Galleries Entrance in Exhibition Road and bring this
page to show that they are attending the MCG meeting.
267 members of MCG who are on their mailing list will be receiving a printed
version of the booking form and programme, but if you wish to attend please
feel free to fill in the following details and reply to [log in to unmask] (by
31st August please):
If you are interested in meeting for an evening meal in a local restaurant,
please indicate Yes here:
The programme for the day will be:
10.00 Sue Gordon, MCG Chair, Charles Hussey, NHM
Welcome to Meeting
10.05 Ray Lester, Head of Department of Library and Information Services
Introduction to IT projects in the NHM
10.15 David Gee, Software Developer, Dept. of Library and Information
DSML: Delivering databases to the Web
DSML (Dynamic System Mark-up Language) is an XML to HTML converter,
developed at The NHM, which provides, as standard, XML tags for database
access. This non-proprietary system enables access to any data source
independent of platform.
10.45 Mike Lowndes, Web Manager, Dept. of Library and Information Services
Document Publishing to an Intranet
The Natural History Museum launched an extensive new Intranet in June 1998.
A core part of this was the establishment of a document store/publishing
system designed to allow any staff member to publish standard business
documents on the Intranet without HTML coding. Our working system will be
described and discussed.
11.45 Martin Pulsford, Picture Librarian, Dept. of Development & Marketing.
The Natural History Museum Picture Library - From DOS to website
The computing applications that have helped the Picture Library to raise
over £1,000,000 in eight years, including the development of an interactive
website launched at www.nhm.ac.uk/piclib earlier this year, will be
described and discussed.
12.15 Neil Thomson, Head of Systems & Central Services, Dept. of Library and
Discovery of museum objects: emerging metadata standards
The NHM is participating in the CIMI (Computer Interchange of Museum
Information) Dublin Core Testbed Project which is testing the feasibility of
extending the use of this standard to describe museum objects for
cross-domain resource discovery by non-experts.
14.00 Bob Bloomfield, Head of Exhibition Research and Design, Dept. of
Exhibitions and Education
Introduction to Front of House IT projects
14.15 John Benfield, New Media Developer, Dept. of Exhibitions and Education
Earthlab - In the galleries and on the Web
The Earth lab gallery and the Earth lab datasite are part of an exciting new
science resource at The Natural History Museum for investigating mineral,
rock and fossil specimens from the UK.
14.45 Roy Hawkey, Head of Education, Dept. of Exhibitions and Education
QUEST: real learning from virtual objects
Learning from objects requires learners to interact directly with the
object, both physically and intellectually, to discover more about its
features and possible relationships. QUEST enables visitors to explore and
investigate a diversity of objects, to collect evidence and to share their
findings - all in a virtual environment.
15.45 Norman MacLeod, Researcher, Palaeontology Dept.
The Electronic Publication of Systematic Information: Images, Databases, &
How new media may be exploited to deliver high quality information about
museum objects. Drawing on experience with the Palaeovision project and the
NHM-Blackwell Science PaleoBase products, the talk will explore the
possibilities offered by high resolution imaging and also electronic
16.15 Open Forum, Chaired by Len Nunn, Head of Information Technology, Dept.
of Library and Information Services
Current Issues for Museum Computing, a chance to share.
16.55 - 17.00 Sue Gordon, MCG Chair
Roundup and close of meeting.
Head of Collections Systems Development,
Department of Library and Information Services,
The Natural History Museum,
London SW7 5BD
Tel. +44 (0)207 942 5213
Fax. +44 (0)207 942 5559
e-mail [log in to unmask]