Tag Archives: LinkedIn

HCLE Winter 2017 Progress Report

Welcome to the winter quarter of 2017 HCLE report. We share many of these news items via our outlets (wiki, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and collect them here for your and our convenience.

Our staff of 1.4 FTEs, volunteers and outside collaborators reached the following milestones in the winter (January through March) of 2017.



  • A news release was prepared for Liza Loop’s GeekFest Berlin 2016 presentation


  • A presentation tool is being developed to aid image management


  • Staff was added to the task of organizing the Collection


  • Liza Loop attended the Personal Digital Archiving 2017 conference


  • A Salesforce account was established and is being customized to HCLE’s needs


  • Lobby/Proof-of-Concept work continues



Please pass our news along, especially if you know someone else who will want to contribute money, know-how, artifacts, stories, or connections. Even by glancing at what we’ve done, you’re helping make HCLE happen as you pass along the story. Thank you.

  • Fundraising

A draft news release was prepared to inform followers and potential funders about a series of videos excerpted from Liza Loop’s presentation at GeekFest Berlin 2016. The organizers provided a high-resolution version of the video from which we extracted five excerpts that highlight different aspects of HCLE and its mission. (See the list in the Outreach section below.)

Thanks to some preliminary work by an outside contractor, HCLE now has a Salesforce account and database. We are training ourselves in its use, and using the news release as a training opportunity.

  • Collection

Phil Tymon is assisting Liza Loop in the organizing and digitizing of the Collection.

  • Catalog

Anna Narbutovskih is creating a presentation tool (the Interim Collections Site) that will allow images in the Catalog to be readily displayed as a gallery for quicker review and comparison. The intent is to make it easier to check for duplications, and to verify proper import from the official repository, temporary storage locations, and the Catalog.

Stan Crump is modifying the Catalog Maintenance System to repurpose one of the unused fields.

Phil Tymon is assisting Liza Loop in the cataloging of the Collection.

  • People/Volunteers

Our current team of volunteers and consultants continue to help with specific issues with the Catalog Maintenance System and miscellaneous system administration tasks.

We are pleased to introduce new volunteers and enthusiasts that have experience in the history of computing in learning and education: Chuck Morrissey, Marie Hicks.

VolunteerMatch.org was used to find several candidate Salesforce volunteers.

  • Outreach

GeekFest Berlin 2016 made Liza Loop’s video available online and also provided a copy so we may create more succinct excerpts. The editing has begun on five topics.

Liza Loop finished the quarter by attending the Personal Digital Archiving 2017 conference held by Stanford University Libraries from March 29-31, 2017.

Blog posts published:

Social Media Traffic Report

      • Twitter – Facebook ‘Following’ lists reconciled
1/1/2014 12/30/2015 12/31/2016 4/1/2017
Facebook 59 104 171 175
Twitter 67 408 493 490
WordPress 18 49 50 50
Wikispaces 12 62 69 70
  • Wiki

The HCLE wiki continues to act as a communications center and as a digital loading dock.

Chuck Morrissey joined the wiki.

  • Exhibits

Anna Narbutovskih is creating a Proof of Concept site (aka Collections Viewer). A few select artifacts will be presented and displayed so visitors, followers, and prospective funders can better understand our goal, a virtual museum of the History of Computing in Learning and Education.

Andy Molnar volunteered to highlight publications, promote existing interviews, conduct a Future Flashback interview, and work on exhibits of NSF’s impact and the military origins of technology in education.

  • Operations

The year was kicked off with a review of the program plan. As usual, the greatest variables that affect the timeline are funding and staffing.

A draft Design Document was produced to better communicate the goals, operations, restrictions, and experiences expected from the virtual museum. The primary audience is anyone involved in developing the software and web sites.

A trial contractor relationship ended with the positive consequence of establishing a Salesforce account for HCLE that is populated with our CiviCRM data. The account is being customized for our needs. The database is being adjusted to reflect the differences between Salesforce and our previous database, CiviCRM. We are training ourselves in its use, and using the news release as a training opportunity.

  • admin

HCLE’s complete collection of documents on GoogleDocs was ported to the HCLE Hostgator account as a backup.

What makes a ‘virtual’ museum a museum?

We are involved in an interesting conversation about virtual museums going on in the Museums and the Web group on LinkedIn.  We are asking the same questions in the Online Museum Working Group

The LinkedIn discussion began with this post:

Is A Title a Definition? The Virtual Steam Car Museum.

 Donald Hoke, Ph.D.Co-Owner of Vintage Steam Products, LLCTop Contributor

The Virtual Steam Car Museum has applied for an IMLS CAP grant and been denied for the past two years. The rational is that IMLS does not fund virtual museums, but the Virtual Steam Car Museum has thousands of artifacts. Our exhibits are on line, but our collections need help just as does every museum’s collections.

After several comments from others, Eric chimed in with:

Eric Baird Content Creator at Brighton Toy and Model Museum

Wouldn’t a collection of images of 2D material like brochures, advertising documentation and literature be more easily referred to as a “virtual archive” rather than a “virtual museum”?

“Virtual museum” sounds sexier, but “virtual archive” may be easier for funding bodies to understand, and an “archive” has existing well-defined functions that translate well to an online environment.

There are already a number of major organisations that collect and display 2D artefacts and increasingly put them online ( in the UK, the British Library, the National Gallery, etc), but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of these organisations refer to their online collections of 2D material as “museums”. So I think that perhaps “museum” is understood as referring to collections of artefacts that aren’t just simple 2D objects.

Here’s my response:

 Liza Loop Vision Keeper: History of Computing in Learning and Education

IMHO the issue is about the various functions of a “museum”. One function is ‘exhibition’ to the public. Before the internet, museums had to provide physical walk-in facilities in order to provide access to the public. Now many established museums are supplementing their physical exhibits with online galleries of images. But many of us who manage significant collections and archives either cannot, or choose not to, take on the additional burden of administering a physical space open to the public. We perform all the other functions of a museum: collection, preservation, cataloging, curating, interpreting, lending artifacts, researching, educating, etc. The only function we don’t have is physical exhibit space. Public access is either via images, text, video and software on the web or at partner institutions that mount temporary exhibitions of our materials.

It’s not just a matter of whether the collection contains 2D or 3D objects. 3D scanning and printing is opening up the study of physical objects to a much broader audience and can be used by virtual museums. We need to elaborate the definition of ‘museum’ beyond the public access function. Is having a walk-in gallery of physical object the sine qua non of being a museum? It is in the current IMLS enabling legislation. Do we want to keep it that way or modernize our thinking?

Virtual or online museums can ‘exhibit’ 3D objects. There is no question that the experience of being in the presence of an object, an ancient throwing stick or the Enterprise space shuttle for example, is different from viewing a digital surrogate of it online. What we do ask is whether both experiences should be considered ‘museum experiences’. I vote ‘yes’ and cite the crowds of visitors huddled around video screens in walk-in exhibit halls. No one questions that viewing a screen along with the physical exhibit is ‘going to the museum’. But the significant change is from physical artifact to screen display, not where that screen is located. And, even within a physical space, the experience of handling an object differs from viewing it enclosed in a plexiglass case.

Depending on one’s purpose for the museum visit, each of these interaction techniques has its advantages and shortcomings. When embedded in a richly contextualized web site (as contrasted with a simple, captioned, online picture album) the visitor can learn an immense amount about an artifact even though the ‘vibe’ of the physical object is missing. These virtual exhibits are accessible to a much larger public and often enable deeper exploration of the object than physical exhibits. This is not to diminish the awe and reverence that many of us only feel when standing physically close to the ‘real McCoy’. We need both/and, not either/or.

This discussion isn’t over yet. Join in either here or through the Museums and the Web group on LinkedIn.