Comments About The National Portal

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“The National Portal is a historic opportunity for the museum and archive fields. As Chairman of the Advisory Committee, I will do everything in my power to help it succeed.”

—Allen Weinstein, former Archivist of the United States

“The need for a national clearinghouse for information about the rich heritage available at historic sites and history museums is much needed and long overdue to connect these collections to the public.”

—Barbara Franco, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

“We put as much of our collection online as we could and it paid off in increased loan fees, greater visibility (even internationally), and increased image licensing and purchasing. Your strategy of collections aggregation is brilliant. It not only promotes individual museums, but becomes greater than the sum of its parts with cross-museum searches.

—Anna Holloway, VP, Collections, Mariners' Museum, Newport News, VA

“The idea of a national portal to search through multiple museum collections is an exciting one, and deserves our support.”

—Bruce Cole, President, American Revolution Center, former Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities

“Creating a national portal of information on collections aggregated from many different museums and archives is an interesting and important undertaking. It is well known in the library community that these hidden collections are a major problem, with so many items existing in archives and museums that cannot be found by existing means.”

—Sally McCallum, Chief, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress

“Museums are so understaffed and underfunded, we have to look at every proposal through a filter of cost and time. This National Portal will cut both cost and time in providing access to our collection— which is an important part of museums are supposed to do —and we are pleased to be participating.”

— Wilson Greene, Director, Pamplin Historical Park

“The concept of a national portal to information in historical collections across the country is ambitious and exciting. In the past there have been significant barriers to access to the sources of our national history and cultural patrimony. ... The elements that will enable us to transcend those barriers are coming to the fore.”

—Michael J. Fox, Deputy Director for Programs, Minnesota Historical Society

“Most history institutions have at least an informational website. However, the large majority are rudimentary brochure sites and most do not provide significant detail about collections, archives, or other resources... this project has the potential to greatly increase intellectual access to a rich assortment of historically significant collections that document our national and regional heritage.

—Paul Bourcier, Chief Museum Curator, Wisconsin Historical Society

“As a historical geographer and cultural researcher, I believe this project to be critical for the field to thrive in reaching Americans in the 21st century…As a member of the historical profession, I see this helping in three critical areas: 1) it will dramatically increase the discoverability of the large volume of little known cultural heritage materials; 2) that very discoverability will help insure the continued preservation of these materials, and perhaps most importantly 3) a national online database will do much to promote a broader participation by the American people in the discovery, understanding, and appreciation of their rich cultural history.”

—Douglas E. Barnett, Chief of Staff, University of Texas Libraries

“It would be very valuable to have a system such as the National Portal promoting standards. I feel it is very important to move the community along with more agreement on data standards to promote not only the consistent recording of information, but also the efficient retrieval of information online.”

—Nik Honeysett, American Association of Museums and the J. Paul Getty Museum

“Increased access to these collections helps build an appreciation for them. It also continues to focus attention on the care of local collections and the resources it takes to ensure their survival for the long-term.”

—Laura Casey, Museum Services Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission

“The Connecticut Humanities Council believes this project is critical in helping our state’s museums and historical societies better reach and connect with their audience in the 21st Century.

—Scott L. Wands, Connecticut Heritage Resource Center & Field Services Director

“I see this helping very specifically military curators, collectors, and researchers who spend countless hours attempting to identify, locate, document, and photograph rare and often misidentified original artifacts. Many of these items reside in smaller institutions, which render locating these items extremely difficult. Identifying the location, provenance and condition of these items becomes more crucial as we quickly approach the sesquicentennial of the Civil War the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the centennial of World War I.”

—Myers E. Brom II, Tennessee State Museum

“Our Canal Association believes this project is critical in helping us reach our audience(s) in the 21st century. I see this helping us develop a much broader connection to researchers, writers, and other historians wanting to link with us.”

—Dan McCain, President, Wabash & Erie Canal Association

“The Kentucky Historical Society believes this project is critical in helping us reach our audience(s) in the 21st century…I view this project as a unique opportunity to improve the capacity and cooperation of museums, archives, and libraries, in order to support our customers.”

—Jody Blankenship, Director of Education, Kentucky Historical Society

“I am excited about the potential the National Portal has to become a resource for researchers, students and the public to explore history. The project will foster discussions about standards, interoperability, and collaboration that we essential to ensuring that history organizations remain relevant in the 21st Century.

—Angela O’Neal, Director, Information Technology, Ohio Historical Society