National Museum enters the digital information age

National Museum enters the digital information age

The Guyana National Museum is now modernised to meet the demands of a 21st century society as the Government continues investing in keeping with the thrust to transform and update.

Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, said that the museum recognised the need to improve itself in light of the current new era of computers and digital technology; hence the decision was taken to bring it up to the 21st century.

“We started to talk about it; instead of perhaps trying to read the sign, they can have a headphone and listen to the narration of what they are seeing. Or maybe if you want more in-depth information, you will be able to access that,” Minister Anthony said.  “We want to make the exhibits more interactive,” the Minister added.

Nadia Madho, the Museum’s Administrator explained that the ‘Modernisation and Digitisation Project” was awarded to contractor, Digital Technology, and work commenced late November 2013 and was completed on August 5, 2014.

She said the project is the database of the National Museum’s collection on artifacts and displays with a website format, and provides expanded history on artifacts. Madho added that the project is expected to continue to provide learning experiences for everyone who visits the museum using today’s modern technology.

The project includes three, 21-inch interactive touch screens and one 84-inch customised interactive touch screen with necessary individual wiring, server and attachments. Two screens are on the upper floor of the museum and the other on the lower floor.

The National Museum’s Library is currently being rehabilitated and soon all collections will be accessible to the public.

Further, museum staff members are being trained in digital technology to be able to properly carry out their duties. At present, a small amount of data from the National Museum can be accessed online via the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport’s website.

Minister Anthony said a process has been started to digitise holdings at the museum, and “that’s where we want to go and today we are taking a step in that direction. It will be much more appealing to the young people to be able to interact with on screen displays. It is a first step on the long road of making the museum a 21st century museum and eventually we hope that a lot of our holdings can be accessed online.”

A few galleries have been added to the museum over the past few years, in its thrust to  make the museum an educational place where people can learn about their country.

The museum also provides a bus that will take travelling exhibits to assist in the learning progress of school children. Schools are encouraged to become a part of the museum’s loan programme.

Minister Anthony said workshops and camps for young people, especially during the summer holidays are also held at the museum.  Persons are also urged to explore other museums across Guyana to continue to learn about Guyana’s rich heritage among others.

 The Museum will also work with teachers to facilitate the schools’ curriculum and provided relevant exhibits. “We want to be a partner to our learning institutions and schools,” Minister Anthony said.

Filed:  30th September, 2014

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