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Digitization with Morgan

Published July 14, 2020

Morgan Hamilton  is a Graduate Research Assistant working at MoFA. Morgan is in the process of digitizing work in the Permanent Collection as a part of the Collaborative Collision project. 

My name is Morgan Hamilton and I am a PhD student in the Museum Education and Visitor-centered Curation program, part of the department of Art Education, at the College of Fine Arts. I have been learning about the role art education plays in museums and art museums, and how the field impacts and sustains visitor relationships with the institution. We believe that the museum should consider the visitor as the fulcrum of programming, that belief even holds during a pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Our project, Collaborative Collision, and projects like it, aim to bring the collection of the museum to the visitor when the visitor can’t, well, visit! Using digital and interactive technologies has been an ongoing advancement in the field of museum and visitor studies, however, the pandemic has accelerated technological developments. In the case of MoFA at FSU, the curatorial team found that much of the collection has outdated, missing, or incomplete information which is a nightmare for any digitization project! To make lemonade from some lemons, the team proposed and received a grant to fund the project. 

Abstract print of red, yellow, and blue balloons.

One of the works Morgan is digitizing. Alexander Calder, Balloons, 1973, serigraph.

I recently joined the MoFA team as a Graduate Research Assistant. My studies in the Museum Education and Visitor-centered Curation program have primed me for just such a moment. What’s more, my area of research is focused on digital, virtual, and augmented experiences in the museum. So far in this project, I have been in several meetings with the project team and University Library metadata librarian, Matthew Miguez. He has helped us align our standards with those of the University Library collections and other museum digital archives. I have since begun the data entry of our current collection archive and updated its formatting and organization. 

We hope to make an accurate metadata archive of our collections, complete with updated and digital pictures of every artwork, so that we can connect people to it. Many of our visitors are students, faculty, and staff, however the general public enjoy our exhibitions. A website dedicated to showcasing our current and previous exhibitions will help MoFA extend its reach to visitors at home. The organization and accessibility of a digital collection will also allow for interactivity with the artworks in the collection. We believe that will make it easier for students, faculty, and the public to explore, study, and research with the resources here at FSU. 

I have enjoyed working with the MoFA team and it is invigorating to see big plans in the works outside of this project. We hope to have the first phase of this project ready by mid-August.