Jodhpur, Dec 3: Sahapedia.org, the online resource on Indian arts and culture, has launched the second phase of its pioneering museum mapping project, adding detailed information on 250 museums from nearly 20 more cities across India.
www.museumsofindia.org is a flagship project of Sahapedia that aims to map every one of the nearly 1,000 known museums in India on a single, publicly accessible, digital platform and it has been building up information and improving interactivity since its launch early in May.
The second phase, formally inaugurated during the “Stories of the Desert” cultural event held at the Arna Jharna museum in Jodhpur on Saturday evening, brings more museum listings and initiates the process of making the digital platform transactional, so the public cannot just view information on the museums but also buy entry tickets or souvenirs or publications from the museums and access other services online.
Museums from well-known regional tourist destinations including Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Puducherry, Nashik, Chennai, Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Patna, Mysore, Lucknow, Pune, Ajmer and parts of Manipur, Sikkim and Meghalaya, now find a place on www.museumsofindia.org .
It brings into focus lesser-known museums such as the Vintage Camera Museum and Foundation located in Gurgaon, Haryana which showcases some of the most iconic analogue cameras manufactured since 1880s; and the Ever Living Museum in Shillong, Meghalaya with objects that tell the stories of the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo tribes of the region.
“It is an exclusive and unique project that Sahapedia has undertaken; an effort to present a comprehensive assimilation of museums in India,” said Dr Sudha Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director of Sahapedia, at the launch.
“Museums have, so far, worked as standalone entities and such scanning has not happened before. It highlights how crucial museums are and what they represent such as the local history and the diversity. Additionally, it is also important to have a resource for the people working in the space for networking, progressing in their work and learning from each other as a community,” she said.
Vaibhav Chauhan, Secretary, Sahapedia, who oversees the project, said their plan is to cover over 600 museums by the next year, which will mean reaching out to around 80% of the total viewership.
While Sahapedia does content management for the website now, it plans to offer the museums a direct access to the dashboard to feed in the information themselves so they can add or modify content, list their programmes, host videos, user reviews and so on for their audience. The idea is to help small and medium museums that do not have publicity or promotional mechanisms to reach more people and get footfalls.
“We plan to grow organically after this stage which will streamline the process,” said Mr Chauhan. “We also seek to make this platform transactional from the third phase, when we aim to provide services like docent booking, ticket bookings and e-museum shop through this portal.”
The portal has been seeing a steady surge in visitors and longer average session durations. “The bounce rate on our website has also reduced, meaning thevisitors spend time on our content. Additionally, our social media handles have receivedmore engagements over the past few months,” Mr Chauhan added.
Sahapedia has also introduced many changes in the interface such as a listing for jobs and news from the museum domain of India. The museums have been listed city-wise under clear categories and Sahapedia has opened its dashboards to the interns spread across the country to ease the documentation and execution process.
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