October 24-26, 2007
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Briefings: Description


The eye of the beholder: steve.museum and social tagging of museum collections    go to paper

David Bearman, Archives & Museum Informatics, Canada
Susan Chun, Cultural Heritage Consulting, USA
Jennifer Trant, Archives & Museum Informatics, Canada

Steve is a two-year old collaboration between art museums whose research project, funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, seeks to learn whether (and how) social tagging can serve art museums. We are interested in discovering whether and how non-professionals’ descriptions of artworks differ from professional cataloing, as well as how volunteer taggers may experience the activity of looking at and describing museum collections. To support our research, we have built an open source tagging tool, developed methods for analyzing user-contributed descriptions of artworks, and begun to study the nature of the tags contributed by end users. In keeping with the open, collaborative philosophy of the project, we will make both our research results and our raw data available to interested members of the community. Our briefing will provide an update on current and future project activities and discoveries, including a review of our tools, a summary of findings to date, and a discussion of our data set and analytical framework.

Briefing: Briefings - Social Technologies [Close-Up]

Keywords: social tagging, museums, open source, folksonomy, research