The Montpelier Digital Collections Project is a collaborative effort to build an online, publicly accessible, collections management database that will integrate the many collections that are housed by The Montpelier Foundation. The project is a joint endeavor between The Montpelier Foundation and Michigan State University’s MATRIX, to build a tool that will enhance collaborative research for Montpelier scholars and make the data they collect accessible to members of the public.
The Project’s primary goal is to create a digital database that will accomplish four things:
- Function as a single collections management system for all of Montpelier’s collections.
- Make Montpelier’s collections equally accessible for members of the public, scholars, and museum professionals
- Enhance Montpelier’s digital presence and serve as the digital backbone for future interpretive and research projects
- Expand Montpelier’s focus on public and collaborative research and interpretation.
A series of principles will be followed in the project’s creation, influenced by the Rubric for Engaging Descendant Communities, developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and The Montpelier Foundation. These principles include:
Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration – The project’s goal is to create a database that will be useful for people seeking to do interdisciplinary research. With that end goal in mind, the creation of this database will be collaborative in nature, bringing together a variety of stakeholders from different areas of expertise through a workshop and survey.
Public Engagement – This project will be done collaborative with public stakeholders, including members of the Montpelier Descendant Community, to ensure that they are participating in the entire project. This will continue to build on Montpelier’s commitment to relationship building with this group, while also including them in the creation process.