Thanks Mike and Jeremy,

There is a bit of a lag with the image service, as we do some batch
updates - within a couple of weeks, 95% of records with images that you
can see will have images available through the service: the rest may not
because of various reasons. Apols, I should have held back until that 2
weeks was up.

I did reply off list to Mike about the API - just out of laziness so I
could not worry about editing for a wider audience. In answer to his
question, I am pretty passionate about getting it done - it's just about
setting about getting it done in the right way.

Head of Web | Department of Learning and Audiences| The British Museum |
t: 020 7323 8169 | m: 07971 433841

-----Original Message-----
From: Museums Computer Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Ottevanger, Jeremy
Sent: 30 May 2008 16:03
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: British Museum collection online update

Yup, congratulations Matthew. I've looked around before but it's really
good to know that the programme of adding new objects continues apace. 

Like Mike I have found that some image aren't yet available for the
non-commercial thingy, but others are (e.g.
images.aspx?asset_id=71396&objectId=1447203&partId=1). I've got no
objection to charging for commercial publication of photos. I think
there's a valid and workable distinction between this and non-commercial
use, and it's realistic and no bad thing if some classes of customers
are expected to pay. The distinction between non- and commercial is at
least easy to understand (print run of less/more than 4000), though
perhaps its more a question of UNcommercial than non-commercial. There
may be resolutely dry and academic tomes, or indeed expensive
leather-bound collectors' folios, that are published by commercial
publishers in small runs, whilst well-known magazines found in WH Smiths
but run by non-profits, like CBA's British Archaeology, would perhaps
count as commercial. But quibbles aside the principle seems OK to me.

As for the API, you know that Mike's your man if you want someone to
bellow in the ear of nay-sayers! ;-) Hope you can beat the politics on
this one, it would be simply brilliant news if you can do it.

Cheers, Jeremy

Jeremy Ottevanger
Web Developer, Museum Systems Team
Museum of London Group
46 Eagle Wharf Road
London. N1 7ED
Tel: 020 7410 2207
Fax: 020 7600 1058
Email: [log in to unmask]
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-----Original Message-----
From: Museums Computer Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Matthew Cock
Sent: 30 May 2008 10:15
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [MCG] British Museum collection online update

While we haven't had a formal launch, I wanted to share this with
colleagues. The BM have recently updated its collection database online.
Launched in December 2007 with the Museum's collection of pictorial art
(mainly Western and Asian prints, drawings and paintings),as of
yesterday it expanded to include all objects from Asia and the
collection of the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan. In total we now
have 437,052 records, 154,330 of these with one or more image. The next
release is due at the end of the year, with records of objects from the
majority of the other departments. This should take us to over 1m
records online.
We have an advanced search feature where you can combine controlled
terms used in the database, and while not the most intuitive for those
not familiar with this type of thing, it works, and hey, there's some
pretty good stuff in there! Also available is an image service for
non-commercial publishing, providing medium res images for printing up
to A5, free on registration. 
The database is at:
We're also looking internally at the feasibility of offering an open API
onto the database.
Do contact me if you have any questions  or comments,
See you at UKMW,

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