City / Country: Montreal, Quebec / Canada
Languages: English / Français
Web accessibility: Not specified.
Mission: "The McCord Museum is a public research and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, study, diffusion and appreciation of Canadian history" (http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/info/mission/)
Outstanding characteristics: McCord website distributes its contents in two clearly differentiated areas: "At the museum" (with info directly related to physical museum contents) and "On Line" (with special features for the users).
The most special feature of the "On line" area is My McCord, where user can customize his museum experience.
No maps available.
At the Museum Exhibitions
Displays info about current, upcoming, past and travelling exhibitions.
Each exhibition page contains exhaustive related documentation, on multiple formats. Although the amount of documentation can vary from one exhibition page to another, user can generally find:
- Information about the exhibit. Pdf and static images with additional information about the contents of the exhibition. It can include, among others:
o Slides from the exhibit
o Selection of images on Flickr
o Video files
o Information about related events
- Games about the content of the exhibition. Flash. Games design fully fits into the whole website design.
- A link to the exhibition website (if available)
- Related web tours
- Related artifacts. Executes an automatic search on the Collections section, to find museum artifacts that have a relationship with the exhibition contents.
In some cases, user can also access to an Overview of the Exhibition, a section that gathers images of every piece of the exhibition, and textual additional information.
On Line Collections
Allows user to access to an amazing collection of 135,000 artifacts that are reflections of the social history and material culture of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. Almost 117,000 artifacts held by the McCord and some 17,500 artifacts held by the partner museums are available for viewing.
This section main page contains a list of the collections available, with the actual number of artifacts that each of them contains, and how many are on-line.
GOOD PRACTICE User can also access to the collection by means of the left page menu that contains both searching and browsing options:
- Quick search
- Advanced search (McCord collection only)
- Pictures with sound search (McCord collection only) (11,000 old photographs that have been matched with audio backgrounds)
- Explore the on-line collection
Allows user to browse the catalogue from 6 categories (collections / artists /objects / time periods / geocultural areas / geocultural map -same options as geocultural areas, but available on an interactive flash map- / thematic tours / fonds)
GOOD PRACTICE Concept network.
Interactive concept network that allows user to explore 95,000 documents, and visualize relationships between artifacts.
GOOD PRACTICE Order a reproduction
User can purchase a photographic reproduction. Drives to My McCord section (see Outstanding best practices for more information).
GOOD PRACTICE Artifact information page
When the user selects a piece of the collection, it opens a page that contains all information about it:
- Textual information (basic details and description)
- Related information (see also box)
- Interactive image or photograph of the artifact. Based on a flash application (Zoomify), user can do some actions to observe the image in more detail: zoom in/out, drag. view full screen.
- Tools. User can print, send as a postcard or send it to a friend.
- Download image. User can choose between several sizes to download
(http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/scripts/imagedownload.php?accessNumber=M996.11.142&Lang=1&imageID=145726). He can also link to the photo on other websites (HTML code is available).
- Select image. Adds selected image to "My Images Selection". User can gather all his preferred images.
There are also options only available to registered users (all these options drive to MyCord section):
- Image pairs
- Add to cart
- Add tags
- Add a comment
On Line Exhibitions
Virtual exhibitions that open in the contents are of the page. Although each virtual exhibition shows a different design, they all are consistent with the global look-and-feel of McCord website.
At the museum Activities
This section contains information about educational activities carried out at the museum. In some cases the activities materials are available in pdf format to download (see http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/pdf/trading_game_cards_dice.pdf for instance).
User can test his knowledge of Canadian history by means of four types of games:
- Role-playing games
- Association games
- Observation games
All games are flash format. They open at the contents are of the page, and fit consistently with the whole website design.
GOOD PRACTICE See also...
Games' pages contain additional information: videos, educational activities, related web tours and related artifacts.
User can discover new aspects of the history of Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries through thematic tours.
Divided into five major themes and five time periods, these thematic tours may be accessed three different ways, by:
GOOD PRACTICE Web tours
Documented images in HTML. Images can be seen by four ways:
- Tour view. Displays an interactive carousel.
- Lightbox view. Shows clickable thumbnails of the images.
- Album view. Images are displayed into a pageable album.
- Animated view. A flash interactive (stoppable) animation shows images sequentially.
QuickTime version of the tour.
Flash version of the tour.
Resources for the classroom. Contains:
Resources for different themes linked to curricula
Web activities to be done on-line
GOOD PRACTICE Every activity consists on a statement, a link to website resources related to the activity, a pdf for the student (that contains the activity card), and a document (overview) for the teacher.
Inquire with ClioClic
GOOD PRACTICE Exhaustive educational guide designed to employ museum Web resources available on the site, for secondary Canadian History or for Social Studies classes. Includes all stages of a educational activity, from initial approaching to evaluation, and even also a Glossary.
HTML pages that develop contents about Canadian history.
Links to external sites
Allows user to know examples of students' work, and tools developed by teachers.
Besides all website resources, My McCord is the most significant feature to prepare the visit (see Outstanding best practices for more information).
My McCord is the most significant feature to prepare the visit (see Outstanding best practices for more information).
My McCord collaborative features
Main online community features are associated to My McCord (http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/scripts/user.php?Lang=1) section. They are, specifically:
- Add tags to an artifact
- Add a comment to an artifact
Both tags and comments will be shared with the rest of the users.
No features for mobile devices.
Searching & browsing
Due to the great amount of information, McCord website has a contents structure with numerous levels of deepness.
Main options are always displayed on a horizontal menu at the top of the page, where there are also secondary options (like languages, sitemap, contact us among others).
Secondary menu (related to the selected section) appears at the left of the page. It can contain subsections.
Contents are displayed at the right side of the page, and can also contain additional options, that usually link to resources related to the content that is being developed.
Simple search box is displayed at the top right of all pages.
GOOD PRACTICE Search results pages display basic information about found artifacts, as well as its thumbnails to facilitate identification.
Clickable hierarchical tree.
No subscription tools.
User can send his opinion through a form.
Jumps to a donating application in a new window, with a different design.
Become a McCord member
Jumps to a supporting application in a new window, with a different design.
My McCord registration form
Outstanding best practices
User can select his preferred artifacts, to gather all images in an only page. http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/ACC1194
The "Display my Images selection" option is always available at the top of the page. http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/scripts/myList.php?Lang=1
Is a complete section that allows users to:
- Select and organize their favorite images from the collection
- Comment on them
- Describe them
- Tag their images
- Compare them to their own photographs (with the "pairs of images" option)
- Order a photographic reproduction (300 dpi (8 x 10 in.) digital file)
User needs a "My McCord" account.