In the most ambitious project to date, the Center of the West in
The online collection had its start nearly ten years ago, when the first 541 objects, all from the Center's
To that end, in addition to advanced searching and zooming in to the details of images, online explorers are encouraged to "curate" their own virtual exhibits. They can choose objects, write an exhibit introduction and notes on each object, and post comments or questions about any of the objects in the collection. They are also invited to share objects and virtual exhibits through social media networks like
"Most of the projects our IT staff and web content creators are developing include this kind of interactivity to engage today's technologically-connected audiences," says
The latest interactive endeavor, launched this week, is a mobile scavenger hunt using QR codes. Interested visitors can search for the codes while touring the Center. By using a QR code scanning app on their smart phone or other mobile device, players can "collect" objects and earn level badges as they go. "Our online collections serve as a foundation for this project," says Johnson, "so some codes take you to online object records, others connect to blog posts or videos."
Placed strategically throughout the Center's museums and grounds to offer a challenge for searchers, the codes remain unobtrusive for those seeking a more traditional museum experience. "Like our other interactives, this one is designed to offer a layer of creative play to the rich learning experience our museums already offer," says Johnson. "We hope those who engage with the interactives enjoy them, and comment with any questions or ideas to let us know what they think."
Visit the new online collection via the Center of the West's website at collections.centerofthewest.org. For more information on the online collections and the Center's QR code scavenger hunt, contact Johnson at sethj(at)centerofthewest(dot)org or 307-578-4091.
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