The Museum Informatics Project (MIP) was a collaborative effort at the University of California, Berkeley to coordinate the application of information technology in museums and other organized, non-book collections. MIP staff worked with faculty, collections managers, and curators to develop data models, system architectures, and demonstration and production systems as bases for coordinated and integrated approaches to the application of information technology in museums and archives. MIP assisted museums and archives to broaden access to primary academic collections and data by scholars, students and the public.
The Museum Informatics Project was founded in the early 1990's with the first production systems on the web being available in 1993. The final MIP systems and web sites were retired in 2015. Software and content developed by the Museum Informatics Project has been archived by Research IT. Research IT continues MIP's partnership with campus museums and other units working with collections, and UC Berkeley's strength in museum informatics is now represented by the CollectionSpace project and service for campus museums. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the Museum Informatics Project.
MIP's mission, goals and strategies are quoted below.
MIP is currently supporting information systems developed by a wide variety of projects in a diverse set of disciplines. By approaching museum and archival information system design from a general perspective, MIP has identified common approaches to information management across disciplines and has designed data structures and data access tools of general utility.
In addition to the museums and archives supported through MIP, a large number of individuals and departments are creating and managing academic information resources, designing information systems, and developing new technologies. These projects are highly variable with respect to overall goals, disciplinary area covered, and content produced. The variety of campus organizations that support academic information technology projects is found at the Computing & Communications page.
- Provide ongoing strategic planning for museum informatics.
- Develop and implement guidelines for data and information modeling, hardware, software, and networking options for deployment of electronic information systems in museums and collections.
- Maintain an information clearinghouse about museum informatics issues, standards, and resources.
- Evaluate, select, and implement or develop data access, analysis, and information management software tools for scholars.
- Evaluate, select, and implement or develop curatorial and collection management software tools for curators.
- Provide in-kind support for obtaining extramural funding for museum and archival information technology projects.
- Assist museums and collections in implementing solutions to existing collection information management problems.
- Promote information sharing among collections and institutions through high speed, local, national, and international networks.
- Work with campus units, other institutions, organizations, companies, and individuals to influence and guide the direction and development of international standards, technologies, and funding that benefit museum informatics.