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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:
November 7, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License

Maine Memory Network, the Advantages and Challenges of the Distributed Input System
Kathleen Amoroso, Maine Historical Society, USA

Demonstration: Your Colleagues - 2

Your institution or organization has been thinking about developing an online museum that involves other cultural organizations around your state or with similar interests? But where do you start? The Maine Memory Network at www.mainememory.net (MMN) is an online database of historical primary source materials (photographs, manuscripts, paintings, letters, maps, artifacts, and more) from all over the state of Maine. It is a grant-funded project of the Maine Historical Society. Since its inception in 1999, it was designed to actively involve cultural organizations throughout the state of Maine. This demonstration will discuss how the project began and how other collecting institutions are contributing. This project, however, has not been without challenges. Because of the large size of the state, an outreach coordinator and 2 outreach consultants were hired to recruit and individually train organizations around Maine how to scan and digitally photograph their collections using the standards set by MMN. The MMN uses a distributed-input system allowing the institutions to upload, catalog, and edit their own material that they submit directly from their own locations using a password. This model, which we believe is unique to the cultural institution community, makes it easy for organizations to contribute but is also causing us to revisit many of our training and submission policies. Anyone working on or interested in setting up a collaborative cultural website will want to hear the outreach coordinator discuss these issues.