Introducing IMu - Internet Museum
THE JEWISH MUSEUM COLLECTION CONTAINS OVER 20,000 OBJECTS AND STORIES. FOR THE PAST YEAR OUR TEAM HAVE BEEN BUSILY WORKING TO MAKE THIS COLLECTION ACCESSIBLE ONLINE. WE SAT DOWN WITH SENIOR CURATOR AND COLLECTION MANAGER, JULIETTE HANSON, TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IMU – OUR DIGITISED COLLECTION.
What is IMu?
We currently use a data management software called KE EMu, which provides an extensive database for items in our collection. IMu is the online version of EMu, which has a very different look, functionality and level of information, which makes it a user-friendly way to search and view our collection.
How many collection pieces have been digitised?
When we launch IMu, 3000 collection items will be ready to ‘go live’.
How long has it taken to digitise the collection, and is it an ongoing project?
This is certainly an ongoing project. It will take at least five years to make the majority of the collection available. It has taken us the last ten months to prepare 3000 records for IMu.
Why is IMu important to the Museum and the community?
This is a very exciting and important project for the Museum because it will allow people from all over the world to view and discover more about our extensive collection. This will increase the level of access to our collection immeasurably and open the collection up for international audiences, as well as allowing local school groups and visitors to engage with collection before and after their visit to the Museum.
For the launch of IMu we have created narrative pathways through which to explore the collection, these highlight our key collection areas and themes, as well as some of our most popular and important sub-collections, such as the Schmatte Business or our Dunera Collection. Therefore, IMu will not only provide a way for people to see what we have in our collection, but also to learn about Jewish history and culture more broadly.
Is there a collection item you have come across that is particularly special to you?
It is very hard to choose as there are so many gems! I love the contemporary Judaica collection, especially a piece called Three Mezuzot (pictured above) by the artist Iris Saar Isaacs. As a response to the tradition of placing a mezuzah at the entrance of a home, the artist has created a set of beautifully symbolic mezuzot that embody the functions of a home; familiarity and comfort, protection and security, privacy and seclusion.