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Title:Museum of the Person: A Brazilian Experience of Virtual Museum
Authors:Rosali Henriques, Karen Worcman, José Santos Matos
Publication:MW99: Museums and the Web 1999

The Museum of the Person is a private institution founded in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1992. Its object consists in registering, preserving and transforming life stories into organized information. Currently, we count on about 700 stories, 2,000 photos and digitalized documents. The Museum of the Person is essentially a virtual Museum. Before the popularization of Internet, the Museum of the Person had been organizing information in multimedia databanks, and transforming the projects results in CD-ROM, publications and videos. The Museum of the Person is supported by projects that are developed to various companies and institutions in Brazil. The popularization of Internet in Brazil enabled the Museum of the Person to fulfill its vocation, that is, to allow all persons (even if currently only those with access to the Web) to register their life stories and/or the stories of relatives (this includes photobiographies, depositions, homages, etc.). At the same time, the Museum of the Person makes available - through the site - its assets for reference and school, academic and professional researches. Currently, we are unifying all our assets in a databank in the MS SQL Server, with reference through the Index Server. It is important to point out that the assets reference, as well as the sending of stories, is an institutional service of the Museum of the Person, absolutely free of charge. Our presentation intends to report the development and the current work status of the Museum of the Person in the Web. We will emphasize how the Web solidified the existence of the Museum of the Person as an essentially virtual institution. We will also describe the uses made by the public of the possibilities offered by our site.