The Spencer Museum of Art receives $250,000 to update its online database

LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) – The Spencer Museum of Art now has $250,000 to help move its online database to the latest cloud-based version.

The University of Kansas announced Sept. 1 that the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences has awarded the Spencer Museum of Art a $250,000 grant to upgrade its collection database, MuseumPlus, to the latest version based on on the cloud.

Coupled with an IMLS grant awarded in 2021 to redesign the museum’s websites, KU said the funds will help improve access to and sustainability of the Spencer’s digital resources.

KU said the museum’s database is the foundation for all activities fulfilling its mission – including documenting its collection of more than 47,000 pieces, organizing exhibitions and public programs, and recording data such as college and K-12 class visits.

The University said much of the information on Spencer’s website is publicly available through its online collection. With IMLS support, he said the museum will migrate over 200,000 recordings and media files to the new cloud-based system, which will increase usability and accessibility.

Jennifer Talbott, deputy director of operations and innovation, said the timing of the grant will allow the museum to meet the goals set out in its recent digital plan – including a complete overhaul of the website and online collection. of the museum.

“Upgrading the database right now will allow us to unite our existing websites on a more stable and sustainable platform, allowing us to develop custom tools and applications to better meet the needs of our audiences. digital,” Talbott said.

In addition to database support, KU said MuseumPlus powers a suite of five browser-based apps that present the museum’s collections, exhibits and educational content in directed, audience-centric tools. . He said the resources allow the public to access the museum’s wealth of data to support gallery visits, classroom teaching, research and more.

The University noted that rebuilding these apps with the new cloud-based MuseumPlus will ensure their longevity and make them easier to navigate for users and developers.

KU said the most recent IMLS grant builds on a long history of supporting Spencer Museum digital projects. He also funded the museum’s early work to digitize its collection in 2004, which allowed the museum to become one of the first in the United States to publish nearly 100% of its collection online in 2009.

To access the Spencer Museum website, click HERE.