August 15, 2011
Marquette's Haggerty Museum launches online database of collection
MILWAUKEE — The Haggerty Museum of Art
at Marquette University has added an in-house digital collection database to its website to allow visitors to view more than 1,100 artworks, making nearly a quarter of the museum’s permanent collection available to art lovers worldwide. Approximately 350 artists from 29 different countries are represented on the Haggerty website. Works from the collection can be viewed at http://museum.marquette.edu
Easily searchable by the artist’s name, title of the work, nationality, and type of object or medium, the database includes works considered to be the most important objects in the collection, including special collections like the Rojtman Old Masters collection, Barbara Morgan photographs, the Fishman Neue Sachlichkeit collection of paintings and prints, and the recently donated Tatalovich collection of contemporary and modern prints.
“Our permanent collection contains 4,500 objects, many of which are rarely exhibited and may have never been seen by the public. We have always encouraged faculty to utilize the collection as a source in their teaching,” said Wally Mason, director of the Haggerty. “For the most part that’s a cumbersome task for the user because it means scheduling and then spending time in the vaults and print drawers to view the works. The ability to utilize a computer anywhere to access the collections on the Haggerty website creates the potential for greater awareness of our holdings by faculty, staff and students as well as curators and collectors throughout the world.”
When the Haggerty purchased a new digital collections management database system in 2009 to store images and data about the works in the permanent collection, the museum searched for a system that would easily link to the museum’s website so that access to the images and information will be readily available to visitors to the site. Since then, staff has updated information about the works in the collection and gathered images of the works to add to the database. During this period, the Haggerty also redesigned its website with the expectation that there will be more visitors to the website once the database link to the permanent collection is live.
“To a large degree, this is new territory for the museum. The implementation of the new digital collections management database system has allowed us to correct and add data about works in the permanent collection. Bringing this upgraded information about the works in the collection, along with images, to the web increases opportunities for conversation with other institutions and scholars about the Haggerty collection. Just as exciting is the prospect that the permanent collection web presence will lead to more awareness by students and faculty, as well as the general public, of the wealth of wonderful Haggerty objects that we can’t always share in the galleries,” said Mason.
The Haggerty Museum is located on the Marquette Campus near 13th and Clybourn in Milwaukee.