January 25, 2022

Philadelphia’ Penn Museum Expands Digital Access to its Collections and Research Projects

From Art Daily:

As a repository of wide-ranging, international collections, original field notes and archival data from roughly 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions around the world, the Penn Museum in Philadelphia is committed to open, global, digital access for scholars and the public.


Launched in January 2012, the online Collections Database has gradually expanded over the past 18 months with a wealth of additional content. It now contains more than 332,851 object records representing 692,850 objects, and more than 90,000 images illustrating 34,067 object records. In addition to the growth in available data, the functionality of the online interface has also been improved, allowing more refined searching and browsing of the Museum’s collections, and—new this month—the ability for online visitors to download the Museum’s collections metadata to sort, study, and use it to suit their own research interests under a CC BY 3.0 Creative Commons license.

Launched in December 2012, the interactive Research Map and Timeline highlights many of the Museum’s research projects since its founding in 1887. Initially, showcasing 125 projects (commemorating the Museum’s 125th anniversary on December 6, 2012), the interactive website has now grown to include 267 research projects.


Finally, in another recent expansion of scholarly access, the Penn Museum has partnered with Digital Antiquity—a collaborative non-profit organization devoted to enhancing preservation of and access to irreplaceable archaeological records and data—to provide free, open access to supplementary material from 19 books previously published by the Museum since 2000.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.