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published: March 2004
Five Become One: how five Manchester museums developed a
shared web portal
This paper will describe how and why five Manchester museums - the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester (MSIM), Manchester Art Gallery (MAG), the Manchester Museum (MM), the People's History Museum (PHM) and the Whitworth Art Gallery (WAG) - developed a shared web portal for the delivery of information about their collections. The launch of the web portal in May/June 2003 will be the fruition of a four-year collaboration between the five museums. The rationale behind the portal is that, for historic reasons that are unknown to most real and virtual museum visitors, Manchester has five major separately constituted museums, whose collections relate and overlap in a number of ways. By offering a single access-point to information about the combined collections of the partner museums, the web portal will improve public understanding of the collections of all five museums and will enable the museums to work together more effectively through greater knowledge of each other?s collections.