You’ve probably arrived at this site looking for help with the management of information at your museum. Perhaps you have some ideas of what needs to happen at your institution to get things working right, but aren’t quite sure where to start.
Perhaps you have a sense that effort is being duplicated throughout your organization; that lots of redundant information (or somewhat redundant) information is being collected by different members or departments within your organization who don’t always communicate effectively.
Perhaps you want to implement an effective digital strategy, but are feeling frustrated by information silos that impede efficient sharing of information.
Perhaps I can help.
I’ve worked in cultural heritage institutions for over 30 years, 17 of them as the Director of Information Systems at the Historic New Orleans Collection. In 2008, I became an independent consultant, and in 2010, I began teaching graduate courses at Johns Hopkins University.
A little more about me:
I was an early proponent of integrated Library-Archives-Museum systems, and led my institution in the development of one of the first commercial-integrated LAM information systems. While President of the Museum Computer Network (MCN), I became the first AAM representative to the joint Committee for Archives, Libraries and Museums (CALM).
I’ve been a collaborator, principal investigator and project manager for numerous grant-funded projects. While working at the Historic New Orleans Collection, I was a co-principal investigator on an IMLS National Leadership grant project, and later served on the advisory board for the Louisiana Digital Library. I initiated, secured funding for, planned, and directed the execution of the the Collins C. Diboll Vieux Carré Digital Survey project, a major architectural index of New Orleans buildings. I worked with my museum and the administration of the New Orleans Public Library to convert a significant 1930’s-era WPA product, the New Orleans Obituary Index, into a searchable, online database. Before and after Hurricane Katrina, and the subsequent flooding of the city of New Orleans, I helped develop the disaster and business continuity plan that allowed us to become the first museum to re-open following the disaster.
Since becoming a consultant, I’ve contracted with a variety of institutions to identify and recommend solutions to information bottlenecks. I’ve participated in a number of national working groups on museum information management issues, including service as a member of the Core Team in the Mellon-funded ConservationSpace project. I’m an experienced grant writer, and have worked hand-in-hand with institutions to develop funded projects.
As a teacher in the Masters in Museum Studies program for Johns Hopkins University, I have developed and taught classes in collections information management systems, museum cataloging, and digital preservation. More recently, I have participated closely in the creation of the JHU Certificate in Digital Curation Certificate program, for which I teach three courses.
The simple philosophy underlying all of my work is this: Technology can only enhance the effectiveness of your organization; it cannot create it. Most information problems are organizational, cultural, and social.
Finding the right solution is usually a delicate dance between organizational structure and culture, internal and external communication, and last, technology, all of which must be driven by an institutional mission. Sometimes you need hardware and software. Sometimes you just need standards and best practice.