Monday, June 18, 2007

Museum Evolution

In a sort-of-related (and totally cool) story, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has created an online repository of their Egypt collection at, called the Giza Archives Project. I read about it in the Boston Globe, which reports

The Giza Archives Project, established by Boston's Museum of Fine Arts in January 2005, aims to become the world's central online repository for all archaeological activity at the necropolis, beginning with the major 20th-century excavations that were jointly funded by the museum and Harvard University.

The free site is helping scholars decipher clues to Egyptian culture during the Pyramid Age, said project director Peter Der Manuelian. And it is becoming even more valuable as the monuments and artifacts themselves crumble -- victims of pollution, vandalism, tourism, and time, he said.

"In many ways, the only way to study Giza is from our material and not to study the monuments themselves anymore," said Manuelian, who is also a lecturer at Tufts University. "The real goal is to bring everything online from Giza past, Giza present, and Giza future."

The website, created with $1.6 million in funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the assistance of hundreds of volunteers, allows users to research monuments and artifacts from the time of the original discovery and excavation through today. The MFA recently forged formal agreements with several museums and universities in Europe to add their Giza archives and artifacts to the website.
Folks who have visited the MFA in Boston may have seen their mummies. But I had not known that they were a major repository for ancient Egyptian material. They had this curator.... Like so many of our libraries with special collections... HMMM.

(Image is the navigation bar at the Giza Archives Project)

No comments: