A Critical Look at Online Exhibitions and Online Collections: When Creating One Resource is more Effective than the Other
The year 2007 marked the bicentenary of an act of parliament that abolished slave trading in the British empire. Throughout the UK, British heritage and educational institutions, the government sector, and other organisations decided to use this anniversary to look at the legacy of the slave trade as a vehicle for community outreach, sharing of their collections through imaginative, moving, and provocative online projects that also address contemporary issues related to identity, race, poverty, and migration in a multicultural, global society.Most of the 2007 event driven websites, news articles, publications, education resources, and online exhibitions or those created just prior to 2007 or just after, which are meant to be long term resources on these issues, have been organised into a web collection on the Internet archive (IA). This paper aims to provide a critical look at online exhibitions versus online collections in the context of the 2007 bicentenary, specifically comparing the effectiveness of websites called "online exhibitions" from a user perspective with websites called "educational resources," in this IA collection. In addition to defining and providing examples of "collections" or "exhibitions" this paper attempts to explore ideas for the types of institutional and shared material that lend themselves to creating either an online exhibition or an online education resource.
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