BPOC is initiating a series of white papers that inform the current state of thinking and examples of collections information online, and the programming and educational initiatives that support it. Our first paper examines the challenges that museums face in presenting their collection online, and emerging techniques and technologies that can be used to address these issues going forward. One of the top challenges is the most simple: many museum collections just are not digitized and available online. And even after collections are digitized and presented online, questions of access remain. Visitors turn to search bars to wade through information, but they can be limiting. Search bars work best when you know what you’re looking for, but most web visitors do not. Lost in Balboa Park will address this challenge by offering more intuitive discovery options based on visual selection, recommendation algorithms, or inference engines. Audiences expect custom content from their web services, and museums and cultural institutions should follow this successful strategy.
The second white paper explores how BPOC and Balboa Park can integrate Common Core national and state learning standards into the online expression of collections. Now that Common Core Standards include the research of primary materials, Balboa Park as an encyclopedic destination, and the online portal, can become a critical resource for educators nationwide to use as a tool in the classroom.