Picnooga will launch a crowdfunding campaign within the next six months to help kickstart phase one of their expansion; a publicly accessible and searchable digital historical archive for local history. The online history museum will utilize CONTENTdm, an established platform to catalog and exhibit large collections. The Tennessee State Library and Archives and the University of Tennessee utilize CONTENTdm to manage and exhibit their special collections, founder David Moon said.
He said, "At launch, the history database will contain the over 1,100 objects in Picnooga's collection, cataloged and cross referenced for an interpretive presentation of the material — Picnooga expects its collection to nearly double before the end of 2017. The online museum can be used as a collaborative resource for historical content partners, providing opportunities for third party and other licensed digitized collections.
"Traditionally, museums can only exhibit a small percentage of their collections, due to lack of exhibit space and resources. An online museum and archive will be able to exhibit entire collections. In addition, there will be interpretive areas of the website that will highlight multiple object types to help tell selected stories. Video and virtual technology can be used as an additional aid in the storytelling. Advantages of using CONTENTdm as a core platform is its ability to serve a wider audience and go beyond a local audience and reach academics and genealogists from around the globe.
"Money raised by crowdfunding will also go into purchase updated equipment; including a new large format scanner and archival supplies.
"Phase two of Picnooga's plan includes a physical archive, work area and small storefront. Phase three will add an interpretive space for rotating public exhibits and educational programs."
Picnooga is a local history incubator that promotes, collects, preserves and shares local historic images and artifacts online. Twice in 2016, Picnooga's digital collections were featured on the front page of Mashable.com. It also serves as an unofficial public relations resource for Chattanooga, providing content to authors, businesses, local documentaries and the press. Founded in January 2014, Picnooga has a social media following of about 30,000, with 27,000+ followers on Facebook. Its posts reaches an average of 300,000 desktops per month. Picnooga has been supported on a shoestring budget from crowdfunding, individual contributions, an UNFoundation grant and sponsorships.