Tuesday 3 July 2007

Christchurch Art Gallery's podcasts

I'm a web editor in a cultural institution. One of my jobs is to drum up new content for our website. And one of the easiest ways of doing that is to take things that are already happening, or already exist, and re-purpose them for online delivery.

Christchurch Art Gallery have just done a really nice job of this by putting their audioguide online. They recently commissioned a new audioguide, which covers 21 works from their permanent collection hang, and is narrated by actor Sam Neill.

Christchurch Art Gallery audioguide download page

When you visit the Gallery, you can hire an iPod loaded up with the audioguide to take with you - so far, so traditional. But by putting the audio online (with an easy interface), the Gallery has made it possible for people to listen to the guide on their computer, or download it to their own iPod (etc).

It's a small but effective thing. Each track is only a few minutes long, and you can see the work being discussed as you listen. I could see these being really useful in a classroom, where students could listen and discuss - or make their own for other works. And in a nice touch, they've also made the transcripts available for download as PDFs.

As far as I know the Christchurch Art Gallery is the first to make podcasts available for collection works, so good on them. Apparently, there's more still to come.

Image: Rita Angus, Cass, c.1936. Collection of the Christchurch Art Gallery. One of the works featured on the audioguide.

Declaration: I was commissioned by the Gallery to produce the script for the audioguide.

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