Showing posts from August, 2007

Cycling economic gradients

First cycle ride back from Southwark to Hackney today - it reminds me what an economic gradient I am climbing. Wealthy bankside, to rich City, start the decline gently through the trendy City Fringes of Spittlefields, gradient steepening as I cycle north though Brick Lane to Columbia Road, Broadway Market and through Hackney to the Nightingale Estate on Hackney downs.

Scrolling news feeds

I've struggled with creating a newsfeed of a particular length, but have now found 2 solutions. 1. using scroll bars on CSS divisions - which is a bit clunky 2. Using a news feed from FeedDigest using their scrolling box format and feeding it into a HTML IFRAME TAG Works a treat: have a look at the web site

CSS victory? Text overflow

I think I have 'won' my fight with CSS . The main point of victory was to tidy up the code, and secondly to use Absolute positioning to get the 2 columns I craved. I then tried to solve the problem of text overflowing my CSS boxes and discovered a piece of CSS called overflow. This can be auto scroll hidden If you use overflow:scroll; it creates scroll bars! This works but is not terribly elegant. Anyway I have a temporary victory.

Web site design - using CSS for content placement

I'm struggling with the theory and practice of using CSS to create web sites. I have been trying to teach myself CSS having read various things about it and seeing that many people use CSS not just as a style markup tool but also to place content on their site. The minimal method is use CSS to get control of fonts, colours backgrounds, and then to change style or font is simply a matter of changing the one CSS file rather than going through 200 or so html files. The major position is that all content should be in html, all design should be in CSS. If you achieve this ideal you can then completely change the style of your web site using the CSS file and need not change any of the html code. This also gets you out of the need to misuse Tables in order to control placement of images and text. That's the theory. I'm faced with a site with all sorts of style embedded in the html and who's genesis was under various html regimes. I have spent an age achieving something

St Thomas Church sold?

We believe the Chapter Group and the Cathedral Group signed the deal to sell St Thomas Church last week. If true it means we now have a new landlord - the Cathedral Group . Interesting times.

The London Hub - quoted by the Museums Association

MA Article : "Kevin Flude, the director of the Old Operating Theatre in east London, praised the work of MLA and of the people involved with the hub, but said that this good work was in spite of the 'Byzantine' structure of the hub, which he thought should be run by MLA London independently of museums. 'If you look at the amount of money spent on the hub and the Museum of London's strategy, it's ridiculous,' he said. 'The hub is spending too long on its planning. The best thing that could come out of this meeting is if we get the planning cycle of MLA and the hub organised, streamlined and harmonised.' " Actually, they got it wrong - I said 'If you look at the amount of money spent on the Hub and on implementing MLA London's entire museum strategy it is ridiculous.' The point being that the hub has had millions of pounds for its strategy and MLA had a few thousand.

A Medical Museums Trail

While idling googling I came across the medical trail which I helped put together - I had no idea it was up on the web. Medical Museums Trail

UCL Museums Studies Course

Went to UCL to discuss the 'Digitisation and Museums' course I am to give at UCL next year. Crispin and I went to lunch via Jeremy Bentham, whom my wife, restuffed. The buildings at UCL are a complete mess - which is a pity given how stately the original buildings are. Quite excited about the course!

Chelsea Walk

I had to give up my Chelsea walk to celebrate my daughters fantastic A Level results (3 A's) at Fifteen. I found a guide for my group, called Fedra who I last meet 24 years ago on the City of London Guides course. Fedra noted she had my book. My Chelsea walk can be found here:

Making Collections Effective - Museums Association Report

The Museums Association have published a report reviewing their strategy 'Collections for the Future' It is a well written report with sensible proposals - the aim is to try to make use of the vast hidden resource of museum objects in the store. It consists of suggestions of toolkits , brokering, training, web resources, best practice etc. The main strategies seem to be to encourage the big museums to open up their hidden treasures through the medium of 'brokers' to ' matchmake ' between borrowers and lenders. A more controversial aspect is the suggestion that the code of ethics need to be changed to remove the presumption against disposal. Now, in the context of a proper disposal strategy, disposal is to be - well not encouraged exactly but not actively discouraged, and even more controversially, in a small number of cases to allow disposal for profit. What a dangerous suggestion! Making Collections Effective - Museums Associatio Report

Early Artificial toe found

The article notes other early artificial limbs. BBC NEWS | Health | Cairo toe earliest fake body bit

Adult Learing and Skills MLA London Briefing

MLA London have produced an 'Adult Learning and Skills Briefing'. Very informative - learnt that Skills of Life refers to basic skills - functional literacy, numeracy and ICT , rather than an aspiration for continuing education. The report outlines the basic principles, the main documents and how they might be deployed in the Museums, Libraries and Archives sector. As a briefing it is useful - my only criticism would be that most of the examples from the sector are to do with Libraries, and not from Museums. I'm sure I could find some relevance for the Old Operating Theatre Museum but the major obstacle is the lack of room at the Museum - although we could do ESOL tours. The briefing can be downloaded here. MLA London Section

Ancient Irish monuments may have been Bronze Age breweries

Bronze Age pits with burned stone mounds may have been ancient breweries, claim two Irish Archaeologists. Previously, archaeologists have guessed these pits were cooking pits or even ancient sauna's. But these ideas are not good enough for the Irish archaeologists......! Stone Pages Archaeo News: Ancient Irish monuments may have been Bronze Age breweries

Chaddleworth Collection & Management Systems

I have been asked to look into a new (to me) software system called Chattels, which is focussed on private collectors and Stately Home Collections. You can download a trial version from their web site: Chaddleworth Collection & Management Systems :: Downloads From first impressions it seems quite an elegant, intuitive system that provides something of an information database which would be more than adequate for most people with their own collections. It is nicely designed, seems easy to use and the, by using linked database tables, it provides something of an information system rather than simply a collections database. From a Museum perspective it does not appear to be Spectrum Compliant, and is not mentioned in the MDA's partners scheme . This would give me pause before recommending it to a Museum. It has a license scheme which costs more the more objects you have and I believe it will cost an institution in excess of £2,000. Some of the fields in the database are li

Putting a Sitemap on a Museum WebSite

I have been working out how to put Google acceptable sitemaps on Museum websites. Only problem is that one client has over 500 pages and most of the free sitemap generators give up at 500 pages - but I found one that copes with over 500 pages. The process is as follows: 1. go to Google Webmaster tools set up an account 2. Download GsiteCrawler This copes with over 500 pages and will generate, and if you like, upload your sitemap to the internet. The sitemap generated will be called sitemap.xml. Gsitecrawler is free. 3. Back to Google webmaster tools and tell them the sitemap (called sitemap.xml) has been loaded. This solves the google sitemap issue but does not give you a human orientated sitemap - there are other tools out there for that. The one that I have used that has the best print out is which I have been using for years - it automatically creates and updates your sitemap, and provides 3 versions - list, table and outline but it is not on your site a

Edible garden at Museum of Garden History [10 August 2007]

An interesting project to engage the local community. Edible garden at Museum of Garden History

Heatherwick's 'Boiler Suit' transforms approach to Guy's Hospital

In case you were wondering what the strange new building is at Guys. Heatherwick's 'Boiler Suit' transforms approach to Guy's Hospital [13 August 2007]

Turning the Pages - Flipping Pages on Web sites

Working on Bethlem web site - looking at ways of using an album of photographs on the Internet. but would like pages to flip. I looked up various sites and found some interesting examples but the most perfect was: Turning the Pages™, the British Library This is awesome as it always a look at such items as Leonardo De Vinci's note book, or medieval Psalters and William Blake's sketchbook. What a privilege! I expect the British Library spent millions on it but I think I can achieve the same on a pittance. These are the sites I found that had flipping pages some javascript, others Flash.'s--photo-album.html Keyword = ict