Pacific Pathways: Multiplying contexts for the Forster ('Cook-Voyage') collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum : 2002-03

Project Description:

Comprising 185+ artefacts obtained on James Cook’s second voyage of discovery from 1772 to 1775, the Forster Collection is one of the great collections of Pacific ethnography. The present project was concerned with understanding the ways in which the Forster Collection is important today, especially for members of ‘source’ communities. To this end, the project team developed and implemented a facility allowing anyone with access to the web to develop their own commentaries on the collection through creating electronic paths through and beyond the existing website. Pathways were commissioned from a variety of individuals—artists, curators, and scholars—interested in the collection from different perspectives. They used a newly developed 'path-making' facility to provide a range of different interpretations of the collection, putting it into different historical and contemporary contexts. The Pacific Pathways website uses PHP scripts and Javascript, with an underlying MySQL database. Images uploaded for inclusion by users are automatically processed to a suitable size and shape using the ImageMagick collection of tools and libraries.