Re: [MCN-L] In-gallery digital exhibits - a few questions

2015-11-04 Thread Michael Daul
At Duke University Libraries we’ve recently renovated a large section of the 
building and have greatly expanded our spaces for exhibits. As such, we’re 
planning to do a lot more with in-gallery digital exhibits. I’m the main person 
who actually builds the kiosks at DUL. I’m also really interested in how other 
institutions approach building and managing content for in-gallery digital 
exhibits. And if I could tack on an extra question to the list - 6. How long 
does your group/institution usually spend planning and then developing an 
in-gallery digital exhibit?

My replies are as follows:

1. Yes for sure, but we’ve struggled with building in enough time to do the 
in-gallery portions justice. Typically it’s not been the focus and we end up 
throwing something together in a few weeks. I think with more time and planning 
we could do much more interesting things.

2. I’m much more inclined to DIY than to hire someone else to do something. I 
think budget is the main constraint, but schedules are always complicated as 

3. I think it’s easier to do a single purchase, but it seems more and more 
software companies are moving to subscription models. In so far as it’s 
possible, I always try to use free tools or make use of things we already have 
access to.

4. Over my time here we’ve slowly moved from using old surplussed iMacs along 
with mouse and/or keyboard to using windows-based touchscreen machines (Dell 
and Lenovo ‘all-in-ones'). We’ve also got a free-standing pedestal for an iPad 
so we’ll incorporate that from time to time. The iPad pro is intriguing, but 
I’m not sure it offers any functionality above what we’re getting from our 
windows boxes.

5. Years ago I preferred to have things be self contained, but I now prefer to 
drive all of the content remotely when possible. This, at least in theory, 
makes it much easier to make updates/tweaks to the exhibits. If an exhibit 
requires some connection to our existing web infrastructure, I’ll drive it from 
our Drupal environment (using a custom theme). If it doesn’t, I’ll usually just 
build them as html (sans any CMS).



Michael Daul
Digital Projects Developer 
Duke University Libraries
(919) 684-1710

>Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2015 14:46:09 +
>From: Ian Smith <>
>Subject: [MCN-L] In-gallery digital exhibits - a few questions

[MCN-L] In-gallery digital exhibits - a few questions

2015-11-03 Thread Ian Smith
Hi all,

I'd like to pick the group's brains about the creation and use of
in-gallery digital exhibits.

(Disclaimer: I'm a UK-based digital consultant. Amongst other things, I
make two digital exhibit platforms, IGOR  and
Darwin , and I'm talking to as many
heritage folk in the USA and UK as I can to make them as useful as
possible. There's no point making tools that nobody wants!)

So the questions are as follows - there are only a few - I appreciate
different museums will give different answers but I'm intrigued to see what
patterns or shared issues arise:

And please note that this refers to in-gallery exhibits only.

1. Level of expertise. Does your staff have the ability to use a CMS or
other tool with which to build and install a standalone in-gallery digital
exhibit - but also the experience to plan and design it in the first place?

2. DIY or not. Regardless of expertise do you prefer to have complete
control over the reaction of a digital exhibit or would you rather 'hand it
over' to an agency/freelancer. And how much would time constraints affect
your decision?

3. Budget and spending. Both IGOR and Darwin come (at the moment) with
eternal licences i.e. buy it once and remake the exhibit as often as you
like. This means that there is only one purchase required (per instance of
digital exhibit) but also that the initial cost is higher. Would you rather
a larger upfront cost or spread it via e.g. a subscription?

4. Hardware. Do you prefer to use Windows, Mac, Android, iOS for your
exhibits. Will the new iPad Pro influence what hardware you use in-gallery?

5. Connectedness. Do your in-gallery exhibits need to be networked or -
conversely  - do you actively prefer them to be completely standalone?

BTW this is open to anyone with experience of creating in-gallery digital
exhibits, not just museum staff. I'm really interested to hear of your
experiences. And please feel free to reply on- or off-list (

Thanks for reading!

Ian Smith.

Ian Smith
Digital Opportunities Ltd
t: 07812 822594
Try IGOR - Interactive Galleries On Request - our brilliant cross-platform
tool that allows museums and galleries to quickly, easily and cheaply
create their own digital exhibits! Download a fully working free trial copy
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