Blurring Boundaries, Shifting Perspectives – Museum Science Meets History Online.

Multidisciplinary museums have opportunities for active collaboration and participation by experts in varying fields. However, differing methodologies and approaches have traditionally meant that there is still a divide. New technologies are helping to bridge that disciplinary gap, allowing scientists, anthropologists and historians to share data, interpretation and experience in ways they have not been able to before. Digitisation of collection information, and release of large datasets into the public domain allow techniques such as data mining, transcription and semantic linking to open new ways to interpret museum collections information, to the benefit of all. In this roundtable discussion, participants debated a number of questions including: whether museum science and history both benefit from the application of technological solutions? Is this opening up disciplinary collaboration? What technological tools are the most useful to assist both scientists and historians? Or are the challenges all social? Participants: Elycia Wallis, Manager, Online Collections, Museum Victoria Janet Carding, Director & CEO, Royal Ontario Museum Sharon Grant, Technology Liaison to Science, Field Museum Adrian Kingston, Collections Information Manager Digital Assets and Development, Te Papa Tongarewa Ed Rodley, Senior Exhibit Developer, Museum of Science Eric Johnson, Head of Outreach and Consulting at Scholars Lab, University of Virginia Library Presented Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at the Museum Computer Network Conference in Seattle, WA.