Penn Museum Launches Online Collections Database

December 1, 2011

Looking for cheese on the Penn Museum Online Collections Database.

Just this week, the Penn Museum launched its Online Collections Database. This brand new resource currently encompasses over 314,000 object records and is illustrated with 46,000 images, stats that are expected to increase as the project moves forward. A keyword as well as an advanced search allow users to casually browse or specifically search for objects. A search for “cheese” unexpectedly turns up this terra cotta figurine carved in moulded relief from Iraq. Apparently, depicted on the tripod table in front of the male figure is a collection of stacked, rectangular objects that could be cheese. The “Highlights of the Collections”¬†section includes a number of particularly important pieces from the Museum.¬†A “Featured Themes/ Collections” section highlights the collections in fun ways – like exhibiting objects that depict faces. Additionally, an interactive feature allows the user to create his or her own collection of objects and share it with others. I can even make this exciting collection of early Chinese funerary objects and share it with you here! All in all, this database is an incredible and useful resource that makes the Museum’s collections open and accesible to many more people.