FAQ - Questions about Museum of the City
What is the Museum of the City?
The Museum is a virtual place where visitors can view exhibits about nearly every aspect of cities around the world: from transportation and sports to ancient urban sites, from parks and green spaces to city culture and design.
The concept of the Museum of the City – a website to virtually view interesting, distinctive, and thought-provoking features of cities around the word – was laid out by its founder, Chet Orloff, in 2001. His aim was, and continues, to present knowledge and ideas about cities in a way that invites participation and encourages visitors to appreciate, value, and care for their own city.
What is a city?
The Museum defines a city not by size or population but as a place of permanent settlement. The age-old question of what determines a city is, essentially, to be answered through the range of the Museum exhibits, across disciplines and over time. The concept of the City means different things to different people, and the Museum of the City's mission is to encourage and support the exploration of those many meanings.
What is the purpose of having exhibits in the Museum?
One of the ways we learn about cities is by studying the systems, the features, the history, the plans, and the cultures that distinguish each city. With photographs, maps, artwork, recordings, and accompanying interpretive text, the Museum's exhibits offer visually and intellectually rich ways to tell the infinitely diverse story of cities. Viewing exhibits in the Museum's electronic galleries is analogous to touring the physical galleries of "brick-and-mortar" museums.
Who makes the exhibits?
Students and their teachers, scholars, planners, urban designers, architects. Citizens interested in their own and others' cities. And, we hope, You! The Museum invites and encourages exhibits from anyone with a story to share about cities - cities of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. To begin the process of creating an exhibit, first "tour" the Museum's galleries to gather ideas about what's been done and how much more remains to be examined through exhibits. Research your topic and gather images to illustrate it. Then, create a user account, and you'll be ready to begin building your exhibit.
How do I get involved as an Exhibitor?
See the Sign Up link for a place to create a username and password and review our Terms for using Copyrighted and Creative Commons assets (pictures) to go with the story you’ll be telling. That’s it. You’re an exhibitor!
Who directs and operates the Museum?
Founding Director Chet Orloff (a historian and planner) directs the Museum and oversees its funding, affiliate memberships, and operations. Tari Donohue is the Managing Curator and works with Portland State University’s Academic Research Computing Department to administer the Museum's exhibits program and website.
How do I get involved as a Museum volunteer?
The Museum of the City is a voluntary effort, with one part-time staff member. Exhibit-building, fundraising, and other museum activities are performed by volunteers. If you are interested in helping the Museum's efforts, please contact Director Chet Orloff (email@example.com; 503.223.5932).
English is not my first language; is the website available in other languages?
Presently the website operates only in English. Please feel free to submit an exhibit using your English as you know it; we will be pleased to edit it for American or UK English, making every effort to maintain your "voice" and perspective.
I have an idea for an exhibit that doesn’t fit into your set of galleries; may I submit it anyway?
When you submit a proposal for an exhibit, we ask that you indicate an applicable gallery for it to be included in. (Please browse the galleries to understand their range.) While we have continued to extend the range of topics and themes for exhibits and galleries, there are certain areas that we haven’t yet covered. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your exhibit idea with us.
How do I build an exhibit?
Please see our Exhibit Tutorial for the steps to follow to make an exhibit. Museum of the City Exhibit Building Tutorial
I’ve tried uploading pictures to My Library and it won’t take them. Why?
Check to ensure your photos, illustrations or videos are within the format categories accepted for your asset. Although we’ve tried to address many different formats, your asset must be one of the formats listed on the Asset Upload page.
My exhibit pages shift or information disappears when I fill in a field or text box.
If you get stuck in these browsers, refresh the page, Clear your Cache (Safari) or Tools/Delete History (Explorer).
Our most efficient and consistent browser is Mozilla Firefox. It seems to work more effectively with the Museum’s own programs than do other browsers. You can upload the Firefox browser for free here.
My text looks strange when I save the page and has strange characters and spacing.
Please do not paste your story from Microsoft Word. Either type it directly into the text box or paste it from Word into a text program such as Notebook or TextEdit, save it and copy and paste from these. Word has a lot of formatting that gets buggy when pasted into this format.
See our Exhibit Building Tutorial for a complete set of instructions and things to look for while building an exhibit. The global reach of the Museum encourages us to accommodate a variety of internet speeds, browser versions and formatting programs, and we are trying to keep up!