Indianapolis Museum of Art Launches Online Consulting Service

Artinfo 10 February 2010

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) has announced that it will launch a consulting service, called the IMA Lab, within its technology department to support other museums as they expand their digital offerings.

In recent years, IMA has packed its Web site with unique tools, including a “dashboard” feature, which allows visitors to track statistics like the museum’s daily energy consumption, the number of works on loan, and the size of its endowment. It was also among the first museums to create presences on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

Other innovative IMA projects that have made headlines are the Association of Art Museum Directors Object Registry, which allows member museums to catalogue and share information about work that may have been stolen by the Nazi government between 1933 and 1945, and the project, which has analyzed the different ways that museum’s can utilize “tagging” systems in social media.

Though it is unusual for a museum to jump into the consulting business, Robert J. Stein, IMA’s chief information officer, explains that other institutions seem eager to utilize their expertise. “The museum technology field is a relatively small and specialized vertical market,” he said in a written statement, adding that he believes the IMA will be able to lend a helping hand.
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