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Social Tagging and Folksonomies in Art Museums Kathleen Dowling, Dana Hart, Noreen Whysel Introduction The Museum User InterfaceIn a library, the user needs to have „entry points‟ Online collections search interface that helps artsuch as title and author, to find a book. Until enthusiasts who wish to explore online artrecently, the art museum user needed to have collections, but may be unable to effectively utilizesimilar identifying information for a particular work taxonomic keywords due to a lack of art historicalof art. A piece of artwork has no cover or copyright expertise or knowledge of art terminology.page where identifying information is recorded .Folksonomies help art museums to identify itemsin their collections for access by their users. Figure 2. How would an art museum user identify a Jackson Pollock painting with no art historical knowledge? Museum Taxonomies Taxonomies are hierarchical systems of organization that classify items into further and further defined groupings through a series of parent-child relationships. Art Figure 4. AMARA, a collections search interface, museums use controlled vocabularies to organize their AMARA helps users determine what types of art they are collections into taxonomies; this structure then informs seeking by answering a few simple questions about their the way their online galleries are organized. A top-down current beliefs and feelings. What is a Folksonomy? structure is helpful to museum staff, who need strict control over their holdings, but makes it difficult forThomas Vander Wal, founder of the Information users to explore online collections. The Future of Museum Folksonomiesarchitecture institute defines a folksonomy as theuser-created bottom-up categorical structure • Determine how to utilize a new folksonomy alongside strict taxonomic vocabularies indevelopment with an emergent thesaurus. It is museums.created from the act of tagging by the personconsuming the information. • Further explore how to engage people, keep them engaged • Use cyber communities to build real communities. References Chan, S. (2007). “Tagging and Searching-Serendipity and museum collection databases.” In D. Bearman and J. Trant (eds.). Museums and the Web 2007: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Chun, S., R. Cherry, D. Hiwiller, J. Trant, and B. Wyman. (2006). “Steve. museum: an ongoing experiment in social tagging, folksonomy, and museums.” In D. Bearman and J. Trant (eds.). Museums and the Web 2006: Proceedings. Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics. Figure 3. Example of a museum taxonomy tree.