The Hong Kong Maritime Museum would have approximately two years to plan its expansion from an older site that contained two galleries to a new one that had fifteen. New galleries would have to be created. The collection would have to be moved. The museum would close its doors to the public for twelve months, and the only public presence would be the museum’s website. The website would have to be reengineered and restructured for more dynamic content. This meant in part increasing photos of collection items and adding historic films.

The strategy at hand was to create an online gallery for each of the fifteen sponsored spaces. Each online gallery would introduce the public to the theme of the gallery and profile the individual or company that was sponsoring it. Ideally, each online gallery would include photos of the highlighted collection items that would be on display. The public would be encouraged to follow the progress of the museum’s construction and learn more about the new gallery themes.
Since the CMS could not serve as the dataset for the collection, other options had to be explored. In the end, the museum turned to flickr as a way to host its online collection photos.

By utilizing flickr’s application program interface, multi-level category sets, tags, and hypertext fields, the museum created its first online collection. And later, when the museum launched its new website, the flickr dataset was used to populate the new content. This paper will explore the strategies the museum faced in creating a dynamic online collection.

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