Registration and digital presentation of the archaeological collection
Since then only researchers from Denmark and abroad have been able to examine finds from prehistoric Funen, but this they have been diligent in doing. A selection of the finds from the open depot have subsequently been on show at Møntergården in the exhibition 'The Best of Prehistory', but they constitute only a fraction of the collections, which comprise approximately 22,000 items. Meanwhile a way of solving this limitation in presenting artefacts to the public in that there will in future be access to the collection via the net. Each item is presented with photos and accompanying information and will be placed on Odense City Museum's website.
Since mid-May 2007 a team of three people has been busy systematically registering these archaeological finds photographically and entering them in the museum's photo database and the archaeological report database.
Each item is photographed from several angles, the need for conservation is assessed, and finally information on the find is entered in the above-mentioned databases. As the collection includes finds collected from 1860 up to the inception of present-day digital archaeology, a considerable amount of work goes into "translating" and completing the existing information in the registers so that the finds can be presented in a uniform manner: "flint wedges" and "stone hammers" are translated as thin-necked axes and socketed axes and an exact date must be added in accordance with modern standards. Finally the antiquities are registered in a depot database which provides precise information on the future location of the item in the museum's joint depot.
The digital registration of the collection of antiquities involves a number of aspects. It creates what is in effect a kind of virtual museum that makes it possible for visitors, teachers and researchers to familiarise themselves with the collection before they visit the museum. It also considerably improves opportunities to present the collection as it can be seen on computer screens in individual homes. The digital source material will be available for surfing at all levels, from surfing for showpieces to systematic searches for certain types of object or in connection with local history studies. Furthermore, in principle students and researchers can see the objects at university institutes in Copenhagen, Århus, Lund or Göttingen before visiting Odense City Museums.