Thursday, August 20, 2009

A conference call with a man in the middle

Today we had our first conference call with the Tropenmuseum and people of the Indonesian chapter. The conversation was not as easy as it should have been due to a failing microphone at the Tropenmuseum. It is not nice to be the man in the middle in a conversation where you wanted to just listen..

It was still a fruitful conversation; we learned that a large part of the collection has been selected and, the Dutch annotations for a thousand pictures will be send as a pilot to learn how much of a job it is to translate all the annotations for all the planned 100.000 pictures. They typically use the old spelling for people and places. It was indicated it would be best when the modern Bahasa Indonesia names would be used.

We learned that at this moment a group of Indonesian Museum people are being trained at the Tropenmuseum and that the expertise to deal with photographs in Indonesia is at this time largely with the Universities. The Tropenmuseum sees the Commons project as an opportunity to share this material that is part of the Indonesian cultural heritage to the Indonesian people.

A lot of information was shared but the goal of this call; building relations between the museum and the chapter would have been much better if technology had worked with us and not against us.

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