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NMSI: Science Museum, Media Museum, Railway Museum

Page history last edited by Mia 8 years, 10 months ago Saved with comment

Update, January 2015: many of the posts listed below have suffered 'link rot'. Some updated URLs:

There are three posts about apps, geo-coding and visualisations people have made with the CSV data so far...

Update on collections data and geocoded NRM data https://web.archive.org/web/20110608133813/http://sciencemuseumdiscovery.com/blogs/museumdev/update-on-collections-data/

(was http://sciencemuseumdiscovery.com/blogs/museumdev/update-on-collections-data/

‘Things’ and our collections data https://web.archive.org/web/20120620205152/http://sciencemuseumdiscovery.com/blogs/museumdev/things-and-our-collections-data/ (was http://sciencemuseumdiscovery.com/blogs/museumdev/things-and-our-collections-data/)

Inordinately fond of bottles... http://www.ianhopkinson.org.uk/2011/03/inordinately-fond-of-bottles/ (was http://somebeans.blogspot.com/2011/03/inordinately-fond-of-bottles.html)


As you'd expect, the Science Museum collections include science, medicine, ICT and engineering, but they also include artworks, and our interpretation includes social history as well as contemporary and historical science.


NMSI (Science Museum, National Media Museum, National Railway Museum) data released as CSV

We're publishing the data in CSV format now as a relatively lightweight experiment. We'd like to understand whether, and if so, how, people would use our data. We'd also like to explore the benefits for the museum and for programmers using our data - your feedback would inform decisions about future investment in more structured data as well as helping shape our understanding of the requirements of those users. 


We'd like this experiment to help us understand the needs of potential users but we can only do that with your help - we'd love to hear your comments on how you've used the data, and how we could improve it. If possible, we'd like to feature mashups or other applications made with our data. Please email us at web.team@nmsi.ac.uk, send @sciencemuseum a message on twitter or leave a comment at http://sciencemuseumdiscovery.com/blogs/museumdev.


We've published three data sets:

  • 218,822 object records
  • 40,596 media records (metadata about images already published online) 
  • 173 event records


Documentation for collections data from Science Museum, National Media Museum, National Railway Museum (NMSI) released as CSV


Older information

Find out more about the scope and size of our collections or see a snapshot of our collections.


You can see objects in Making the Modern World, Ingenious, Brought to Life, and some gallery and exhibition pages also list objects.


In terms of properly machine-readable data, you can check out Sample object data (from the Science Museum's GOD).  GOD is our 'global object database'.


One reason we were looking at APIs was for the first ever museum mashup competition using data created for our 'Cosmos and Culture' exhibition in 2009. You can find out more about the progress of the Cosmic Collections competition at the museum dev blog and I'd also made the presentation I gave internally to get sign-off on the project available for more context.

Comments (3)

Mia said

at 12:21 pm on Mar 21, 2011

There are three posts about apps, geo-coding and visualisations people have made with the CSV data so far...

Update on collections data and geocoded NRM data http://sciencemuseumdiscovery.com/blogs/museumdev/update-on-collections-data/

‘Things’ and our collections data http://sciencemuseumdiscovery.com/blogs/museumdev/things-and-our-collections-data/

Inordinately fond of bottles... http://somebeans.blogspot.com/2011/03/inordinately-fond-of-bottles.html

Mia said

at 4:15 pm on Mar 21, 2011

And I've blogged about a potential model for understanding the relative importance or significance of a collection record through 'distinctiveness' - a combination of the qualities of the object and of the metadata and narratives around it: http://openobjects.blogspot.com/2011/03/rockets-lockets-and-sprockets-towards.html

Mia said

at 5:35 pm on Mar 25, 2011

http://scimu.heroku.com/ has lots of useful feedback on the data quality - might save other developers some headaches.

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