Museum site wins top award

LOUTH County Museum in Dundalk has won the award for best small museum website at the international Museums and the Web 2011 in Philadelphia.

LOUTH County Museum in Dundalk has won the award for best small museum website at the international Museums and the Web 2011 in Philadelphia.

The award for the website www.asi-louth.ie - was based on the exhibition ASI:Louth – Archaeological Scene Investigation in north Louth which revealed the array of finds uncovered during the construction of the western bypass around Dundalk.

Between 2002 and 2006, the construction of the M1 Dundalk Western Bypass revealed much of the area’s historical record.

Finds of animal bone, urns, bowls, jewellery and beads provide an insightful glimpse into the manner in which the area developed over thousands of years, ranging from the impact of the first farmers in the Neolithic through to the development of Dundalk as a medieval town in the 13th Century.

Funded by the National Roads Authority (NRA), the exhibition reveals the secrets of north Louth over a period of 6,000 years.

Developed between the NRA, Mor Solutions and the County Museum, Dundalk the Asi-louth.ie website reveals much of the artefacts discovered during the roadbuilding phase, as well as looking at the work of the archaeologists working onsite.

Museum Curator, Brian Walsh said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won such an award. It recognises the thought, effort and imagination that went into putting this exhibition together.”

One of the website’s many innovative features was the use of Google maps which linked finds to specific geographical areas as well as their associated reports.

It also includes a short featurette revealing the story behind the discovery of human remains during the bypass’s construction.

Mr Walsh added: “One thing that we wanted to achieve was to bring a new form of presentation and thinking to the area of history and archaeology.

“We felt at the time that the website achieved this, but to win an award of this pedigree when museums such as the Smithsonian, the Tate and the British Museum are also being honoured is the ultimate confirmation.”

The Smithsonian Institution won the People’s Choice award for http://smithsonian-webstrategy.wikispaces.com. The Tate won the social media category for http://aiweiwei.tate.org.uk/

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image won the best overall award for its website.