WEB DRIVEN INFORMATION SYSTEM OF NIGERIAN MUSEUMS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Digital museums appeared in the Internet many years ago. First digital museums have emerged since 1991. However, despite the identity and quality of exhibitions their exhibits are comparable with traditional art museum publications albums, catalogues and books, while the Internet can create a qualitatively new displays, where previously impossible or inconsistent methods of display historical and artistic heritage have been set up. What is the identity of the museum, in which you enter? The main feature is that here are collections, which actually stored in different museums in different countries or even on different continents or does not exist at all.
1.2 What is a digital museum?
The first definition of what a digital museum is, was simply the website of a physical museum. A concept of a museum “without walls” had, however, been introduced as early as 1953 by Malraux, who imagined it being an environment for the presentation of mainly photography and art. The term Digital museum was first coined by Tsichritzis and Gibbs in their article Digital museums and digital realities referring to a museum constructed for a digital landscape and functioning as a service rather than a location.
Another early idea of the digital museum was the VR digital museum that was a copy of the physical museum in its architecture, and it generally contained 2D and 3D images of items from the museum’s collections. The digital museum later evolved to refer to web sites of museums that contained different types of media (multimedia) to present information, such as images, text, sound etc.22 This is still partly the case, but a digital museum is today considered to hold a larger complexity then just different types of media-presented information on a site. The digital museums have become a matter of not just basic information, but also of how the information is being presented to the users.
1.3 Definitions of a digital museum
The definition and idea of the digital museum is still under construction. Just as with the technology, the idea and definition is under constant change, and what once might have qualified as a digital museum in its encyclopedic definition, may not do so today.
Today the definition of the digital museum is coming closer to that of what a physical museum is. It is no longer only a website with information presented.
1.4 STATEMENTS OF THE PROBLEM
Museums are physical locations which cannot be accessed without a visit to these physical locations. Museums contain artefacts of cultural heritage and history which people need to have access to reinforce a sense of history and cultural identity. People cannot have access to museum that is hundred of kilometres from them. Existing physical museum even when they are close, are normally so fully booked that people cannot have access to them unless they book months in advance. This study is focused on finding a solution to these problems where people can have access to the museum even when the physical artefacts are far away.
1.5 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to thoroughly check the viability of the idea of the digital museum. And to see to what extent that a physical museum can be represented by a digital museum which is accessible online.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The internet and the World Wide Web have brought huge advances in how the world interconnects with one another. This digital museum is going to help us in our interactions with each other and one another. People from distant countries will be able to visit the digital museum to learn more about Nigeria.
1.7 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This project has the following objectives:
1. To make artefacts of cultural and colonial history available to all thorough the internet and world wide web as a medium.
2. To increase historical and cultural awareness in the general populace.
3. To make remote and distant museum contents accessible to all.
4. To reduce the cost of preservation of historical heritage by adopting online archiving and story of historical detail.
1.8 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This work is limited to the concept of the digital museums of Nigeria as it related to the general colonial history of Nigeria. The digital museum is not of the specialist kind like the war museum. Its scope is Nigerian history particularly its colonial history. It does not cover every city in Nigeria it is limited to the a few major cities like Lagos and Enugu.
1.9 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research work was faced with a lot of difficulties. Time constraint was one of the limiting factors in carrying out this study.
Financial constraint also constituted in carrying out an in depth study of this project. Limitations to the extent in which data could be collected also constituted a problem. Irregularities in power supply also dealt harshly with the researcher. Collection of photographs from the archives was particularly difficult as seeing the chief archivist in the museums visited was almost close to impossible. This resulted to huge dependence on internet images which is notoriously known to be doctored and unreliable.
In spite of the above mentioned difficulties, some data was collected which will be analysed later.
1.10 ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY
While researching on this work, i came up with a couple of assumptions which include:
1. I would be able to finish this work before deadline.
2. In the long run, this research work would be accessed globally.
1.11 DEFINITION OF TERMS/ VARIABLE
HTML – Hypertext Markup Language is a client-side scripting language for Website design.
PHP – (Archaic: Personal Home page) Hypertext Preprocessor. These languages work closely with the Web server to interpret the requests made from the World Wide Web, process these requests, interact with other programs on the server to fulfil the requests, and then indicate to the Web server exactly what to serve to the client’s browser.
SQL – Structured Query Language, basically used in querying the databases to retrieve, updates, and review database.
CSS – Cascading Style Sheet. A client-side scripting language, used in styling the webpages for a greater user-experience.
ASP – Active Server Pages. A server-side scripting language like the PHP. These languages work closely with the Web server to interpret the requests made from the World Wide Web, process these requests, interact with other programs on the server to fulfil the requests, and then indicate to the Web server exactly what to serve to the client’s browser.
SERVER – A specific application, called a Web server, will be responsible for communicating with the browser.
PHOTOSHOP – Graphics applications.
WEBSITE – A website is a collection of information about a particular topic or subject.
APACHE – A server technology, designed to assist the webmaster in utilizing database and Server technology.
UNIX- an operating system.