QAGOMA: Collections Online

For those of you who may have been following along from home, at Gaia Resources we have a real passion for connecting the public to our historical and cultural assets using digital solutions. Primarily this is through our work with Archives and Collections, within the Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums (GLAM) sector. As such, we were pleased when Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) let us know our proposal for their Collections Online system was successful. 

QAGOMA’s Collections Online allows users to search specifically for items relating to Brisbane

The QAGOMA Collections Online website displays their digitised content from within the collection for the public. When our project with them began, they had an existing prototype that provided guidance for the desired outcomes. However, it didn’t necessarily provide the intended functionality and would not allow QAGOMA to reliably maintain and extend the solution. The prototype was also limited in that it was not able to automatically migrate changes from within QAGOMA to ensure that the Collections Online site was kept up to date without requiring manual intervention.

The Gaia Resources software engineering team include some individuals with extensive experience in delivering solutions utilising the Drupal content management platform, and so it was a relatively simple task for us to be able to deliver this based on the existing prototype. Our focus was to leverage Drupal’s framework and utilise best practice in the theming layer to deliver a Collections Online that effectively managed content delivery for the QAGOMA staff. One of the key outcomes we wanted to make sure of was that the site was as maintainable and extensible for QAGOMA into the future as possible.

Collections online allows for high quality digital images, with functionality from a simple zoom to sliders displaying the before and after images from restorations.

This project was not only an exceptional opportunity to deliver on our goals to bring collections online, but for the team it was an opportunity to work directly with a client in a collaboration to bring their prototype solution into its next phase. We have had the pleasure of working previously with the QAGOMA Digital Transformation Manager, Morgan Strong, and knew that this pre-existing relationship would make for a solid partnership. While it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with him again, it also gave us the unique opportunity to know how to work best together and to utilise the skills and expertise of both Gaia Resources and the team at QAGOMA. This meant that we knew we had both the resources to deliver what was required, but also could provide a light project management touch (in other words, they barely needed me).

Collections Online allows the public to access art both new and familiar.

To keep work as streamlined as possible, the core team was our Senior Software Engineer, Brianna Williams and Morgan Strong of QAGOMA. However, we did have a ‘supporting cast’ to ensure we could be flexible with our resourcing and provide thorough review processes. Our developers and QAGOMA utilised Pantheon as the hosting platform, taking advantage of their Multidev environments to allow QAGOMA and Gaia Resources staff to work in tandem effectively. This allowed us to quickly share updates and provide our combined team with ready visibility of progress, as well as providing a simple solution for the final deployment. Primarily, we wanted a platform that allowed for a simple and flexible way for our teams to work together on Collections Online and to deliver it to the public at the end of the project with price and quality in mind.

QAGOMA Collections online was delivered on time and with positive feedback from both the Gaia Resources team and QAGOMA staff. If you’re interested in how your organisation’s content can be brought to the public, please get in touch via email or get in touch on our socials: Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.


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