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Designing our online collections

3 September 2015 by Lynn

Our new design.

Our new design.

Tibetan robes, watercolours, Egyptian mummies and frogs – what do they have in common? They’re all part of our vast and varied collections!

We’ve been looking at how we can present the items from our collections, better online. Because we have such diverse collections, it’s really difficult to find a single way to do this. As well as decorative and fine art collections, we have collections of insects, birds, plants, social history, medals, ships, models, maritime archives and items associated with slavery. And that’s just some of them!

So, we have taken up the challenge of displaying the collections online. We had to be able to accommodate all our different collection areas and display them in an informative and more creative way on the website. Information about our collections is stored in one database, and images of the items are held in another. So there’s been some quite complicated technical wizardry in pulling the information together from these sources. But we have managed to do this, alongside working on a new design, layout and new ways to explore collections.

Eventually you’ll be able to do things like, search for all our blue objects, or all our romantic objects or maybe even our blingiest objects!

Now curators can curate objects online – they can choose different objects on a certain theme and create online exhibitions or object ‘stories’.

Star objects from the Lady Lever’s South End

lady-hamilton

‘Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante’ by Vigée-Lebrun is one of the star objects from the Lady Lever’s South End galleries.

The star objects from the South End of the Lady Lever Art Gallery is the first of these stories we are showcasing in our new design.

Our decorative art curators have picked out the star objects that will be shown off in the newly developed South End gallery spaces at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

It’s hard to pick out just a few objects from the thousands from our collections, so they’ve focussed on things that have interesting stories associated with them, like this Slavery medallion, some popular objects and also some very rare ones, like this Wedgwood chimneypiece.

They’ve also picked a range of decorative and fine art items to help reflect the Lady Lever Art Gallery’s collections, including fine examples of Wedgwood, paintings, furniture and sculpture.

It’s been a journey to get to this point and this first small story is just the beginning. See the new design and the star objects from the South End galleries here.

Tell us what you think!

We will continue to develop, improve and refine our collections pages. We really value your opinion and your feedback, so please help us by telling us what you think in our short online survey.

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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.