Article by Lucia Ruggiero
The Fitchburg Museum in Massachusetts has pledged to create digital access to all the pieces on permanent show in their exhibition space. The museum is home to over 4,000 art pieces and historical artefacts, which are all to be digitally catalogued onto a database, thanks not least to the support and dedication of the museum’s director, Nick Capasso, and the director of marketing and community relations, Eugene Finney.
There is a specific focus in cataloguing each piece in an accurate way, including with high-quality and accurate photographs of each piece. This is especially important to the museum, as it is to be reaccredited by the American Alliance of Museums in the coming future. The information and listings of the museum’s permanent collection must therefore be easy to access, detailed and exact. So far, around 75% of the collection has been catalogued, and when complete, there is the hope that the database will be made available to the public, through the museum’s website. While this process is likely to reach this stage only within the next few years, it demonstrates an opening up of the museum to international audiences, who will be able to access the museum’s material at the click of a button. Once again we are reminded of the important democratising function that digitalising artwork can have.
Capasso has even suggested that there is a possibility for the creation of an app for tablets and smartphones, as well as virtual tours of particular exhibitions.
In order to catalogue the pieces at the museum in a digitised format, the museum’s organisers have been receiving donations and support from long-standing trustees of the museum, as well as from members of the public.
(Photos: Fitchburg Museum website. Second photo of Capasso by John Love).