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Enhancing key services

Information technology

A significant program of work was completed to upgrade the Museum's information technology infrastructure. Major achievements this year were:

  • implementation of a virtual server cluster to ensure ongoing availability of business applications and information technology services in the event of hardware failures
  • implementation of technology to enable effective asset management of software products, and the seamless and automatic deployment of software changes
  • change of internet service provider to Australia's Academic and Research Network, which provides lower cost high-capacity leading-edge internet services and videoconferencing capability
  • implementation of a new sophisticated security service, which will further protect Museum staff from internet threats such as viruses, spam, spyware and inappropriate content.

Several human resource-related functions were further streamlined through the Museum's human resource information system (HRIS) functionality. A new web recruitment functionality was introduced, which enables applicants to lodge job applications through the internet, with applicant information stored directly in the Museum's HRIS, and senior Museum staff now have key staffing information immediately available through the HRIS, enabling more efficient leadership and supervision practices.

A new interactive online Induction Package for staff was developed and implemented. This comprehensive package covers a wide range of topics relevant to people's employment at the Museum and is supported by a statistical reporting function to enable central monitoring of usage and progress by employees through the package.

A new web-based search interface to the Museum's collection management system, Opal, was developed by staff in the Collection Information and Digitisation section for use by Museum staff. This interface has enabled quicker and easier searching of Opal for staff who did not regularly use Opal, and has been well received by staff. A modified version will be released to the public through the Museum website as the updated interface to the Museum's online catalogue, Collection Search, after June 2008.

The Museum continued to develop the Designing and Implementing Recordkeeping Systems (DIRKS) methodology project. The documentation for Step B, the analysis of business activity, was approved by the National Archives of Australia.

Servicing the Museum's image requirements

In 2007–08, approximately 5000 images were delivered by the Museum's photographers and Copyright and Reproductions unit to support the Museum's documentation, exhibitions, publishing and communication activities. More than 200 photographic assignments were completed, producing high-quality images of collection objects, Museum activities, and corporate and public events.

Images are an important component of collection documentation and are included in object records in the Opal collection information database.

Some significant photographic projects this year were:

  • photography of approximately 350 glass plates, early negatives and lantern slides to provide content supporting an exhibition and a publication about anthropologist Herbert Basedow
  • photography of the objects in the National Historical Collection for multimedia and graphic requirements, to be used in the Australian Journeys gallery
  • documentary photography at Brewarrina of Roy Barker Snr and Roy Barker Jnr making a bark canoe that will be acquired for the National Historical Collection.

The Copyright and Reproduction unit undertook significant work to source and clear images owned by individuals, commercial organisations and cultural institutions throughout Australia and internationally. The Museum's website, exhibitions, marketing and publications require copyright clearances for a large number of images. For example, the Papunya Painting exhibition required 1300 copyright clearances.