Award winning portal for Sarjeant Collections
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Award winning portal for Sarjeant Collections

Award winning portal for Sarjeant Collections

Sarjeant Gallery Curator of Collections Jennifer Taylor Moore has reason to be proud of the new collections portal

Art lovers eagerly awaiting the redevelopment of the Sarjeant Gallery can now view the collections online. It may not compare to standing right in front of your favourite work of art, but the new Explore the Collection site allows online viewing like never before.

The new portal recently won the Digital Exhibition or Collection Award for the Sarjeant at the National Digital Forum Awards 2017 held in Wellington.

Judges commended the Sarjeant “For doing it the right way with open content and links and punching above their weight.”

Sarjeant Gallery curator of collections Jennifer Taylor Moore has worked with Vernon Systems using the Vernon Browser, which enables anyone to search the gallery’s collection of over 8000 NZ and international artworks. “It has been a partnership with Vernon Systems using the Vernon Browser to develop the Sarjeant’s customised version at a very modest cost,” said Ms Taylor Moore. “By cleverly adding to pre-existing catalogue images and data records, the development team has created a free, intuitive, world-class search capability for the Sarjeant Gallery.”

Ms Taylor Moore said users can explore the collection and make wonderful serendipitous discoveries. “One of the most important aspects of our online facility was to make sure that it is very easy to access without assuming that the visitor has any prior knowledge of our collection. “The other aspect was to offer a thoroughly engaging experience to the visitor and encourage them to keep exploring and making new discoveries. “We believe these aims have been achieved, and then some.”

Visitors to Explore the Collection will find a range of search options – you can search for an artist, object type, collection highlights and you can even search by colour with a palette of 12 to choose from.
There is also the option to refine your request. A search for “facial hair” turned up 186 photos and paintings of hirsute gentlemen including Henry Sarjeant himself. “We shared the portraits on the website in celebration of Movember,” said Ms Taylor Moore.

The curator, along with Vernon Systems personnel, has been invited to talk about the Sarjeant Gallery’s Explore the Collection site at the Museums and the Web Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in April 2018.

To discover Explore the Collection visit

Liz Wylie.
Liz Wylie is a reporter for the Wanganui Chronicle This story was first published in the Wanganui Chronicle on Friday 1 December, 2017