|The history of eHive|
We found there are a number of barriers that prevent museums, galleries and collectors from cataloguing their collections and putting them online:
The main problems generally revolve around a lack of internal IT structure. Buying and maintaining servers, applying updates for software and adequate backing up of data all prove difficult issues for small museums to solve. For smaller or geographically dispersed institutions who wish to develop more of a voice and presence in their communities and for their visitors, the complexity of publishing content on the web is another issue.
On the basis of this preliminary research, we organised a series of focus groups to investigate the views of the wider museum sector, and to gather valuable information with regards to their collection management needs. We looked at software problems facing small museums and after analysing the results of our research, we determined key goals and functions for an exciting development in collection management systems: an entirely web based system.
Smaller museums are not the only ones to benefit from the development of eHive. The number of people who have personal collections at home is surprisingly high. It is a dream come true to be able to catalogue your own collections to museum standards, and to be able to participate in communities with likeminded collectors.
To meet the needs of a large number of smaller museums, heritage and art institutions we focused on a number of key goals for eHive:
More than 600 groups, organisations and collectors have joined eHive since its launch in 2008. More than 100 of these users have active accounts with objects and images.
One of our major communities is NZMuseums, an initiative of National Services Te Paerangi to showcase the museums of New Zealand.
See the Roadmap for planned future developments for eHive.