Full Project – Design and implementation of a digital museum
A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. Most large museums are located in major cities throughout the world and more local ones exist in smaller cities, towns and even the countryside. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public. The continuing acceleration in the digitization of information, combined with the increasing capacity of digital information storage, is causing the traditional model of museums (i.e. as static “collections of collections” of three-dimensional specimens and artifacts) to expand to include virtual exhibits and high-resolution images of their collections for perusal, study, and exploration from any place with Internet. The city with the largest number of museums is Mexico City with over 128 museums. According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries.
The English “museum” comes from the Latin word, and is pluralized as “museums” (or rarely, “musea”). It is originally from the Ancient Greek Μουσεῖον (Mouseion), which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses (the patron divinities in Greek mythology of the arts), and hence a building set apart for study and the arts, especially the Musaeum (institute) for philosophy and research at Alexandria by Ptolemy I Soter about 280 BCE. The first museum/library is considered to be the one of Plato in Athens. However, Pausanias gives another place called “Museum,” namely a small hill in Classical Athens opposite the Akropolis. The hill was called Mouseion after Mousaious, a man who used to sing on the hill and died there of old age and was subsequently buried there as well.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
At the background of study is the national museum of colonial history Aba, Abia state. Abia State is a state in the south eastern part of Nigeria. The capital is Umuahia and the major commercial city is Aba, formerly a British colonial government outpost. The state was created in 1991 from part of Imo state and its citizens are predominantly Igbo people (95% of population). It is one of the nine constituent states of the Niger Delta region.
One of its museums is located at Ikot Ekpene road, Aba, Abia state. That region is predominantly known as Bata. This museum forms the background of our study. The program under development adopts the procedure in that museum, virtually all the modules of the development will be tailored to the national museum of colonial history Aba.
The purpose of the museums is to collect, preserve, interpret, and display items of cultural, artistic, or scientific significance for the education of the public. The purpose can also depend on one’s point of view. To a family looking for entertainment on a Sunday afternoon, a trip to the local history museum could be a fun, and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, a healthy museum community can be seen as a gauge of the economic health of a city, and a way to increase the sophistication of its inhabitants. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museum’s mission, such as civil rights or environmentalism.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Investigation was carried out in the museum and some limitations were taken note of. The museum adds item to the collection. When item are added, the record of the items added are taken note of. Currently this is done on all item. Searching for a record is very hard because the museum manager has to search through all the physical record or even items to check the item he is looking for. Additionally, the number of people who troop there are much, thus making he manager find it hard to coordinate them all. Because of this, the museum is in danger of losing items since unmonitored visitors can make away with items in the museum. People from various part of the state or even another state make long journeys to see items in this museum. This is not desirable because one who wants to visit the museum for educational purpose may not have the opportunity because of the distance. In the course of the system investigation, some problems were noted and they are as follows:
Much time is devoted to searching for information pertaining to a particular item.
The museum is located at a particular geographical location and thus people that live far off cannot benefit from the museum.
Documentation of items in the museums is pretty hard and rigorous.
Redundancy in museum operations.
Statistics of the museum contents are inaccurate due to human error.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The project is not done without an objective. The reason for embarking on the project is to remove the limitations found in the existing system. Majorly this is to overcome the distance barrier and then create a solution to documentation and retrieval of information. Having specified the problems inherent to the present museum, the objectives of the project are:
To build a system that will provide a 3D digital museum that will present the museum to people live on their computer systems.
To produce a system that will help the user to retrieve information when needed and timely.
To create a system that will help the museum manager to conveniently add items and their information to the large database so that online visitors can walk through the museum and also view the item information.
To develop a system that will balance the load of overwhelming visitors having to be at the physical museum daily. This in turn will allow the manager of the museum to keep the physical museum in order.
To provide a system that will keep record of the item in a well formatted manner. E.g. according to the year, origin, item title etc.
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
The system is a 3D digital museum that puts the physical museum live right on the computer system. It is designed after the National Museum of Colonial History located at Ikot Ekpene Road Aba Abia state. The collections are exactly the items found on the museum and it may not match the items found on other museums. Hence its scope is basically on one museum and the system is not suitable for use for other museums. The system stores information of museum items and not information of staff or worker at the museum. This is my scope of study.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The development of this project is not done for just a test of knowledge; instead the project has several significances which we will give attention to in this section. Principally, the significance of the work is to collect, preserve, interpret, and display items of cultural, artistic, or scientific significance for the education of the public. The significances are pointed out as follows:
Improved museum service due to greater access to accurate information.
Increased productivity and work satisfaction among staff members as it eliminates duplication of effort.
More economical and safer means of storing and keeping track of item records.
Easier access to Information for the generation of reports, as well as more accurate and faster results from statistical analyses.
Reduces errors and eliminating the problem of long and repetitive manual processing.
Greater accountability and transparency in operations.
Improved efficiency and effectiveness in administration and management as it has unprecedented access to real-time information.
More reliable security for sensitive and confidential information.
This research work was denied access to some certain webpages that required the use of credit cards which as a visitor I could not afford, during this study I encountered some restrictions, I could not access some hardcopy documents and there were also financial constraint. Power was a problem too.
1.7 DEFFINITION OF TERMS
Museum: this is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.
ARCHIVE: A non-circulating collection preserved for historical purposes. Materials are in a variety of formats including rare items, manuscripts, personal papers, organizational records, photographs, films, posters, and memorabilia.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: (1) A group of CITATIONS used to research a topic. These are gathered together at the end of the article, item, or paper, usually arranged alphabetically by AUTHOR. (2) A publication that consists only of a list of items, ARTICLEs and other works on a particular topic.
DATABASE: A collection of organized information. The online catalog in a museum is a database of the museum’s holdings. Expanded Academic ASAP and the General Business File ASAP are examples of electronic databases.
MUSEUM MANAGER: museum worker: a worker in or manager of a museum
THE SYSTEM/ THE PROPOSED SYSTEM: the digital museum we are developing that will run on the computer, the web browser to be precise.
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Full Project – Design and implementation of a digital museum