Mediatrope is proud to announce the launch of the new Collections Search Web site for Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, (NMAI). NMAI has a collection of over 800,000 objects but fewer than 1% are on display at any time, making the new site especially important in increasing the Museum's accessibility. It is set to become one of the largest Native American collections available online. Visit the new site at http://www.AmericanIndian.si.edu/searchcollections/
The National Museum of the American Indian's collection is unique in its representation of peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere and spanning over 12,000 years of history. This diverse collection includes objects from over 1,200 indigenous cultures. Mediatrope engineered sophisticated search tools that simplify the challenging task of exploring thousands of archaeological and ethnographic items, contemporary art, photographs, and other collection objects across many tribes and peoples.
The Web site features intelligent contextual menus and an interactive map that assist users in the search for objects, peoples, cultures, and artists. An advanced search feature quickly assists users who are seeking specific information while an "Explore Collections Highlights" feature provides a great overview for someone wanting to discover what types of objects can be found. With a couple clicks of their mouse, visitors have a quick path to individual object details, complete with historical information and dynamic images, including original archival catalog cards.
Using the available search tools, a Cherokee descendant in Kansas can view a deerskin coat, similar to what would have been worn by his great-great grandfather. Or a schoolteacher in Colorado can bring new life to local history by showing images of Clovis points, found at a nearby archeological site. Researchers can advance their studies and share new information, all from their personal computer.
With buildings in Washington, D.C., Suitland, Maryland and New York City, the Museum refers to this significant online expansion as its "fourth museum." Describing the importance of the collections Web site, Museum Director Kevin Gover (Pawnee/Comanche) proclaims, "Our mission- to preserve the cultural richness of Native American heritage and make it accessible to the widest possible audience- demands we take this next logical step. Collections Search will open our collection to millions who have never had the opportunity to see it in person."
The Collections Search site is Mediatrope's ninth project for the Smithsonian Institution. Mediatrope was recently awarded the contract for the redesign of the NMAI main Web site.