New quality of data management

In Northern Ireland, the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium preserves over 200 years of tradition in observing the cosmos and measuring the weather. Our software MuseumPlus now enables research work and collection management through new ways of data management.

The Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) in Northern Ireland is one of the UK’s oldest astronomical research facilities. Scientific observations of the planets, stars and galaxies have been carried out in the Observatory since 1790. The weather conditions have been measured there every single day since 1795.

The Observatory is located on the Armagh Astropark, together with the Planetarium founded in 1968. In the Planetarium there is space for almost 100 visitors under a large dome, where they can experience immersive tours of the solar system and galaxy using the digital projector.

With its team of astronomers and educators, the AOP is committed to research and communication on astronomy and its history.

Beginning in 2020, the AOP has been working with our MuseumPlus software. As a web-based collection management system, MuseumPlus opens up a completely new quality of data maintenance and systematic expansion of the data base for the AOP. “The AOP had been relying on a spread sheet to keep track of its historical records”, says Professor Michael Burton, Director AOP. “This was proving increasingly difficult to use and maintain. For scholars, it was very hard to access and find material of interest for their studies of the history of astronomy.”

Due to its long history, the AOP today has extensive records documenting the development of the field of astronomy over the past four centuries.

These are supplemented by a unique collection of objects. These include astronomical and optical measuring instruments such as telescopes, sextants and other scientific devices which are still largely in the place where they were originally used for pioneering science in their day.

Correspondence and legacies of the various directors and astronomers of the AOP are also stored in the extensive archives.

For the further development of its research and collection activities, the AOP now has MuseumPlus software, in which all data and objects can be stored and linked in a structured manner.

This supports the standardization of historical data and opens up new possibilities to use the extensive archive and collection data for research and knowledge transfer.

Learn more about the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium here

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