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The Israel Museum, Jerusalem  

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About IMAGINE

The Israel Museum's searchable database currently accesses a part of the Israel Museum's collections across the three curatorial wings of the Museum as well as the Israeli Art Center.

The Museum's holdings of Art, Archaeology, Judaica and Jewish Ethnography comprise well over 250,000 objects and sets. The Museum is currently moving toward a comprehensive system of digital collection management, which will eventually encompass all of the encyclopedic holdings across the museum. As the program develops, the in-house database will be made available online when both local and remote visitors will be able to access collections across the three curatorial wings in via simple and complex searches.

IMAGINE, the in-house image search engine of the Israel Museum allows curators, conservators, registrars, and service personnel to enter and update data, and provides the different department's simultaneous access to centralized data. Once digitized, the data can be searched in many different ways, by artist name, by country of origin or complex searches that a researcher might wish to explore.


The Database

Since 1999 the Israel Museum Collections Database development has been headed by the Computer and Information Systems Department and guided by the Steering Committee and currently provides a full solution to the multiple needs and functions of the twenty-seven departments of the Museum.

Many different database formats existed in the museum prior to IMAGINE and in order to enable a researcher to access information from the entire encyclopedic holdings of the museum, all formats needed to be converted to one data format. As of January 2009 there were 143,000 objects in the database. Some 50,000 objects are illustrated with an image, which adds a further dimension to the catalogued objects. A customized, multilingual lexicon was constructed by the IMAGINE team, in conjunction with the chief Registrars Office, based upon museum legacy terms. The multilingual lexicon enables users and researcher to query the data in either English or Hebrew, and holds 100,000 terms as of January 2009.

Public Access

Making the Collections Database accessible to the general public is one of the Israel Museum's goals. The IMAGINE Online website, initiated in January 2006, acts as a window to part of the Museum's collections. The website shares information with the public based upon previously published collections.

The IMAGINE online collection is constantly growing, with new objects being added on a monthly basis.

Acknowledgments

The IMAGINE team would like to thank the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, its administration and staff, and all the people who sat on the various steering committees and played a role in making decisions relating to this project for their support in the computerization process of this national treasure. The IMAGINE team would especially like to thank the Director of the Museum, James Snyder, who has propelled this project forward from the start.

Curatorial Steering Committee

Allison Kupietzky – Collections Database Manager
Doron Eisenhamer, Manager of Computer & Information Systems Department
Miriam Apfeldorf, Chief Registrar
Yaki Har-Tal, Former Deputy Director, (1999 - 2003)
Dor Lin, Deputy Director for Planning & Development, (2002 - present)
Suzanne Landau, Chief Curator of the Arts Wing & Curator of Contemporary Art
Daisy Raccah-Djivre, Chief Curator of the Judaica & Jewish Ethnography Wing

Michal Dayagi-Mendels, Chief Curator of Archaeology Wing, (2004 – present)
Silvia Rozenberg, Chief Curator of Archaeology Wing, (1999 – 2004)
Carmela Teichman, Coordinator of Curatorial Services, (2003 - present)
Iris Fishof, Director of Curatorial Services, Israel Museum, Jerusalem & Chairperson of Committee, (1999 - 2003)
Yigal Zalmona, Chief Curator-at-Large & Chairperson of Committee, (2003 - present)

Executive Steering Committee

James Snyder, Director of Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Dor Lin, Deputy Director for Planning & Development, (2002 - present)
Yaki Har-Tal, Deputy Director, (1999 - 2003)
Allison Kupietzky – Collections Database Manager
Doron Eisenhamer, Manager of Computer & Information Systems Department
Miriam Apfeldorf, Chief Registrar
Daniel Ben-Natan, Vice President for Development & International Relations
Iris Fishof, Director of Curatorial Services, Israel Museum , Jerusalem & Chairperson of Committee, (1999 - 2003)
Iuju Orenstein, Head of Finance
Yigal Zalmona, Chief Curator-at-Large

Website

Susan Hazan, Curatorof New Media and Head of New Media Unit
Kfir Vaknin, Webmaster
Haya Sheffer, Web Designer
Hanna Caine-Braunschvig, Web Editor

The Israel Museum thanks its Friends for their generous donation, which made Imagine possible.



 
 
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