How to make the most of your collection online, a practical case by Museu d'Història de Catalunya

The Museu d’Història de Catalunya (MHC), committed to the conservation and dissemination of Catalan heritage, celebrates its 25th anniversary. On the occassion of this year, and given the International Day of the Museums, they have renewed their collection to make it directly available to the public.

How have they pushed their collection to the next level? What is the role of Coeli’s technology? What are the improvements as regards the user? In this blog, we will explain you the development of this success story.

Museu d'Història de Catalunya
© Pepo Segura

“One of the essential functions of the institution is to disseminate our heritage, both to historians and scholars and to the general public, with the aim of turning it into a value from everyone to all people”. (Teresa Rodón, Conservator in MHC)

In context, what are the needs?

Initially, the collection of Museu d’Història de Catalunya is based on a non-interoperable collection manager. This means that the information is not syncrhonised, that is to say, the online publication is not linked to the original data. In this sense, this relational gap causes problems of inconsistency and duplication. For this reason, the Museu d’Història de Catalunya was looking for an interoperable solution capable of processing the data easily and linking them to other spaces. Consequently, this change would improve its proximity and increase the possibilities regarding the user.

Development: the characteristics of Coeli

In response to these necessities, we have taken care to offer a plan in light with their needs. Next, do you want to know what has been the key piece of the process?

Interoperability

In essence, our platform has the capacity to enabe the exchange of information. Directly, thanks to Coeli Sync we connect with Museu d’Història de Catalunya’s database and collect the information that the institution decides. For example: image, title, author, date, description, material, etc.

Pla Cirrus de Coeli

Once inside Coeli, through its API Rest, all the information is synchronised and ready to publish online. Here, the museum developers have total flexibility to revise and “paint” their data.

“Coeli’s technology has allowed us to use an interoperability tool, Coeli Sync, which allows us to quickly extract MuseumPlus’ data without much interference and publish the collection online (Teresa Rodón, Conservator in MHC)

The new collection of Museu d'Història de Catalunya

Finally, let’s see how the Museu d’Història de Catalunya has been able to make the most of its collection. Descover the renewed collection online and let’s celebrate its 25th anniversary surfing through its pieces.

“The improvements available in the search engine, in the complex searches and also in the information offered, (…) facilitate the search of the collection for all those people interested in our heritage objects” (Teresa Rodón, Conservadora del MHC)

What are the improvements?
  • Filters. The museum started with a sigle filter by category and now counts on multiple filters that can be applied (category, object name, author, place of origin, theme). Moreover, these filters allow to browse through the hierarchial vocabularies.
  • Advanced search. Also, we have incorporated an advanced seach that allows seaching by date and by different vocabularies (name of object, author, material, technique, place of origin).
  • Decision of which data are synchronised. In particular, one of the fields of the collection manager is to specify whether the file is public or not. This depends 100% on the staff of the center.
  • Acceleration of workflow thanks to the platform. The data are synchronised periodically from the collection manager. In this way, new additions of modifications are reflected directly on the web.
  • Optimisation of internal consultations. Likewise, the museum staff now also have an online platform that allows them to make internal consultations online.
Next step

Concerning the near future, the Museu d’Història de Catalunya plans to continue expanding and improving its online collection, havins this interoperable technology capable of creating new narratives and enhancing the value of digital dissemination.

“Nowadays, in the 2020s, it is absolutely necessary to disseminate heritage through digital platforms easily and transparently” (MHC)


Overall, the need to approach heritage through digital tools that take into account the user experience is becoming more and more aparent. Therefore, the publication of online collection requires a good management during the whole process: from the data processing to the searching for a certain piece. For this reason, we base our work on the philosophy “Create once, publish everywhere”.

Would you like to know more about out documental platform? Take a look at Coeli’s potential through our past use cases or contact us and we will be in touch soon.