Delphi is a web-based collections browser for the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. While the Museum is relatively well known among researchers, a small public exhibition space coupled with infrequently updated exhibits makes it difficult to impress upon the general public the richness of the Museum's collection, which spans the world and document several thousand years of human culture and prehistory.
The main goals of the Delphi Project are to expose the collection on the web and increase the visibility of the Museum, emphasizing the breadth of their collections. Following user-centered and agile methods, we have built a faceted browser with an ontology designed from the metadata in the Museum’s current content management system. Our system uses text-mining to associate ontology concepts with collections objects.
The Delphi User Interface presents each object with descriptive metadata and a zoom-and-pan explorer of high-resolution images. We support user-annotation of the collections where visitors can 1) tag and comment objects, 2) create and organize sets of objects of interest, and 3) share their annotations and sets with others. Museum staff can also use sets to define themed collections of objects for visitors.