Talk:List of museums in the United States/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Would it be reasonable to seperate Cleveland from Ohio? Cleveland Museums already has its own page, so could i seperate it like Chicago is from Illinois? Please comment on my talk Lorty 15:46, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I think people should separate individual cities whenever possible as long as there are a few of them from the same place. I'd say go for it - I did it with Minnesota. That just makes the whole thing more organized. I've actually been thinking about picking through and grouping together some places that have a good number of museums already listed from the same city or area. I have to find some time to do that, though, as it will probably take a while.Ben Boldt 15:43, 26 July 2007 (UTC)


Perhaps there could be a link to the official site (where applicable) next to the museum. Obidoug 23:36, 02 January 2007 (UTC)

Indeed a good idea. I think the most organized way to do this would be to click the museum link on the list of museums page to go to that respective Wikipedia page. Then on that page you could enter the URL into a museum infobox. If an article doesn't exist yet, you can create a stub for it. For an example of this, see this page:

Ben Boldt 02:54, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Rule of thumb

I think it should be a rule of thumb in this article that cities with 5 or more museums should be separated into their own subcategory. I am working on going through and making this organization one state at a time. Ben Boldt 03:53, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Actually, it might be useful to use subcats for any cities with 2 or more museums, thus helping users find all the museums in a given locale. Tim Ross·talk 21:03, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment on rules for page

My opinion is to keep all museums on one page, open, defunct or otherwise. Place defunct museums on bottom of page for each state in separate section "Closed Museums". This way there is one stop shopping list of museums. Also, this could reduce possibility of duplicating entries of museums where a museum ends up on both lists. FieldMarine (talk) 15:07, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

This is a tough issue

There are only really a few of them. It seems like a waste to create a whole new article like I did. But they also seem out of place here to me. I don't know what to do. I guess I started the new page because I wanted them off of this page but that really isn't the answer.

How about we put them in line with all the regular museums except I'll make an icon that means that they're closed? How do you like that idea?

Ben Boldt (talk) 01:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

ClosedCommodityHow about this? | web

I can put it in the key too since it's sort of hard to read. Do you like it?

I like it...let's go for it (either icon looks good to me). Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 03:43, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
The second icon in that example is the one for Commodity museums. I wanted to show how you would put it first then the regular icon that says what type of museum it is. But I'll go ahead and get that going so we can see how it looks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ben Boldt (talkcontribs) 04:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Splitting List of Museums in the United States into multiple articles

We have hit a critical Wikimedia template limit that prevents us from adding any more icons. I suggest that this article and List of museums be reorganized into a <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>framework of articles as follows:

  • List of museums (main article)
    • List of museums in Africa (link to new article)
      • Egypt (on Africa page)
      • Libya (on Africa page)
      • etc.
    • List of museums in Asia (link to new article)
      • China (on Asia page)
      • India (on Asia page)
      • etc.
    • List of museums in Europe (link to new article)
      • Belgium (on Europe page)
      • Denmark (on Europe page)
      • etc.
    • List of museums in North America (link to new article)
      • Canada (link to new article)
      • Mexico (on North America Page)
      • United States (link to new article)
        • Alabama (on US Page)
        • Alaska (on US Page)
        • Arizona (link to new article)
        • Arkansas (on US Page)
        • California (link to new article)
        • etc.
    • List of museums in Oceania
      • etc.
    • List of museums in South America
      • etc.


There are several articles dealing with lists of museums in specific cities or areas in the US. These articles could then be merged into their respective state article. We could also enter all museums form each state's museum category into the state's list article. Please discuss what you like / dislike about this and give any suggestions / discouragements as you see fit.

Can we link the table with states at the beginning of "List of museums in the United States" to the respective state pages? If so, I say go fot it. FieldMarine (talk) 00:00, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes I can easily do that. I made the table of states and the clickable map as a TOC template, so we can put that on each US page with no problem. I may add an option to the template to add the icon key under it so we don't have to copy that each time too. I really think this sounds good, but we should wait at least a few days before doing anything just so we give everyone a chance to speak up. Ben Boldt (talk) 05:07, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it should be modeled after this: List of twin towns and sister cities. They seem to have done a very good job with that and for the exact same reason we are doing this (template limit exceeded). The number of museums there should be in a state before starting a new article is debatable. I'm not sure if "List of museums in Alabama" is worth a whole article. I think we should do the largest states first and as we get further along maybe we'll be able to get a better idea of a good cutoff point. Ben Boldt (talk) 15:35, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

It looks like everyone is pretty much OK with this. I won't have time to do this for a while because of final exams approaching unfortunately. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ben Boldt (talkcontribs) 22:18, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm thinking about creating a new article for each state regardless of how many museums they have. I'd like to hear what you (FieldMarine and others) think about that. Either that or I guess we'd have to come up with some precise number of museums required to create a new article. Ben Boldt (talk) 20:58, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
A geographic split would make sense. Either by state or by region. All state name articles can be redirects with possibilities if region is chosen. An alpha split makes little sense. Rich Farmbrough, 13:53 7 January 2008 (GMT).

I'd completely back the state split if they were developed into more encyclopedic lists. E.g tables with details -e.g columns on Image -image of the museum, Location -e.g town etc, Founded -date it opened Focus -e.g what is specializes in and Summary a summary of the museum. What do you think? ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 15:58, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

How about something like this and have a table with them in like this?

Image Name Location Founded Area of study Summary
Arizonasciencecenter.jpg Arizona Science Center Phoenix 1984 Science Home to over 350 permanent hands-on exhibits, the Center is able to provide their 400,000 annual visitors with interactive experiences
HeardMuseum.jpg Heard Museum Phoenix

♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 16:10, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

etc etc

The reason I'm splitting each state into its own article may not be obvious right now. It isn't complete - right now it's a combination of the new and the old so some things are redundant right now. Let me explain the system I am trying to implement.

Each article has a template at the top containing a US map and an icon key. Then below that, there are links to List of museums, List of museums in the United States, and Category:Museums in Alabama, where Alabama is whatever state you're looking at. This is the hierarchy of museum list articles. World -> US -> State.

The plan is that if you click states on the map, it will take you directly to the appropriate article. You would not need to go back to List of museums in the United States. This is a work on progress and it does currently work for several states. If all of the states are converted to work like this, then List of museums in the United States would undergo one more change. All of the state listings and links to each state page and category would then be removed leaving only the stuff that's on the bottom of that page right now.

To accomplish all of this, each state article would have, at the top, this code:

1. {{ListOfMuseumsByUSStateTOC}}

2. {{TOCright}}

3. See also List of museums

4. See also List of museums in the United States

5. See also Category:Museums in Alabama

(Museum listings start here)

Here is what this does:

1. This a template that automatically generates the US map and all the names of the states at the top. Also the icon key.

2. This is a little Table of Contents (TOC) template that will automatically appear if the article is split into multiple subsections. It is right-aligned.

3, 4, 5. These are the hierarchical links.

I will refrain from splitting any more articles until we can resolve this. I really think that this can work and that it will become more seamless and less redundant as time goes on. Ben Boldt (talk) 16:45, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Well what I am doing (or was doing ) is splitting ALL the pages quickly now - and then that map template will be redundant as they will ALL be seperate articles. When you work as quickly as me with things I know exactly where everything is going. I thought I could get ALL of the pages seperate in about half an hour and where would we be then? We 'd have fifty articles with a redundant TOC template at the top. Is this what you want? ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 20:32, 7 January 2008 (UTC).

I didn't realize that this was your intention. I appreciate your work on that. I would not have reverted the template had I known that you were about to create those articles.

I believe that the only other things that I reverted were where you changed the templates. This is what we should discuss first, then once we figure that out everything should be good.


I recognize that the creation of new articles is a work in progress, but for now the overall impression these articles give is "YUCK!" For just one example, when I visit List of museums in Montana, the only thing I see is a map of the whole United States (I need to scroll to the next screen to see the list of museums of Montana). Then the list is divided into a list of red links for museums in Deer Lodge ("where's Deer Lodge and why does it get this special display?", I might ask), plus a list of museums in other places, arranged alphabetically (thus obfuscating the fact that Deer Lodge is not the only city with several museums). Further exploration reveals that this list does not correspond very well with the contents of Category:Museums in Montana; there are museums on the list that aren't in the category and museums in the category that aren't on the list.

This arrangement is not serving Wikipedia users at all well. Please slow down, and do this split right:
(1) If the U.S. map template is going to be included in these state-specific articles, please move it to the end of the article, not the beginning.
(2) Within a state, organize the list either by city or by museum name, not by a mongrelized combination of both.
(3) Make sure that every museum in the state museums category appears on the state list and that every museum on the state list that has an article appears in the state museums category.

Sir Blofeld's suggestions for a table format would be even better, but there are some more fundamental problems to address first. If these lists are not improved, I fear that I will be tempted to propose that they be deleted. ;-)

--Orlady (talk) 21:14, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

See my edits to List of museums in Alabama . I also fear they will deleted if they are not made like this -after all categories are for lists. I suggest people develop each one like my exmaple. I haven't got time to go through every one but I can do something gradually ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 22:40, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

If you are committed to this collection of articles, it should not take much time for you to go through and delete the now-irrelevant template that causes every article to start with a map of the United States.
When you finish with that, you could attempt to add the missing information to the lists, because they currently are far less useful than the "Museums by state" categories. For example, List of museums in Tennessee includes links to exactly 8 Wikipedia articles (plus 9 red links and 7 external links that violate WP guidelines), but Category:Museums in Tennessee and its included subcategory Category:Museums in Nashville include a total of 29 articles for museums in Tennessee. IMHO, if that list article is not made to at least equal the category in information value, the list article should be deleted. (Similarly, List of museums in Alabama has just 11 entries, but the categories for Alabama museums include 32 museum articles.)
Your mileage may vary, but in my book comprehensiveness is infinitely more important than inclusion of pictographs like Museum icon Cultural.png and Museum icon Historic Site.png (which I consider to be useless).
Finally, the general format of List of museums in Alabama is OK (notwithstanding (1) the fact that there is only one image and (2) my view on the uselessness of the pictographs in the "Area of study" column), but it would be infinitely more useful if it were set up as sortable table. (Also, my preference would be to delete the image column and the pictograph column. If more images can be found, include the image column, but it detracts from the article to have an image column when only 3 of the 11 entries in the table include images.)--Orlady (talk) 03:00, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the concerns listed by Ben Boldt. The proposed new chart format is totally unnecessary because the info on the proposed chart is contained on the main page of the museum -- thus, creating new articals with info on individual museums should be the focus of effort. Also, obtaining pictures for all the museums would be difficult considering potential for copyright violations. The list format is much more useful to users because it is broken down alphabetically by city unless the city only contains a few museums. I would argue against deletion & I am confident others would too. Also, the pictures & extra info is going to bog down the “List” with bandwidth problems, etc. on the larger lists -- this is the problem we ran into before when they were all on one page. However, the “Museums in the United States” chart on the bottom of the page was an improvement & I think we can gain quick consensus on that change. I recommend placing the entire proposed format in a sandbox, let people comment & gain consensus before changing it. There are a lot of people who put much work into creating this list of museums & a major change in format should be discussed to obtain consensus before it is adopted. As far as the concern with the external & red links, the list is a work in process & each museum will have a separate article with internal link in due time. Also, the comment about not all museums in state categories are on the "list" is an issue continually being corrected -- it is a maintenance issue because users add museums without always adding to the list. Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 17:03, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
To continue this discussion, my recommendation is at a minimum eliminate the picture, year founded & summary columns. This info is not necessary because it is included in the the main articles on the individual museums. Also, change "Area of Study" to "Type". The size of rows should be narrow or else these lists are going to get very long. FieldMarine (talk) 04:46, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree 100%. This list needs some serious work to make it look and function better. The list seems to have "fallen over" recently. For the technical of mind, I would even suggest that the stack has overwritten part or all of the heap. I think that this is a great opportunity to brainstorm and figure out exactly what we should do before acting quickly and changing everything like what has happened recently. Please, anybody, feel free to create sandboxes for your ideas if necessary for us to look at if a description of your ideas doesn't suffice. Things are hideous and disorganized right now and something MUST be done.
At this time, Template:ListOfMuseumsByUSStateTOC is only used on the main List of museums in the United States page. Consider it at your disposal in your brainstorming efforts.
I created this template and also the icon system to help make the page(s) more concise and user-friendly. Some people have expressed that they are not satisfied with this system while others are fond of it. Feel free to include, exclude, or modify these ideas in your design as well.
Ben Boldt (talk) 20:56, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I see much laudable effort to make these list articles pretty, but little interest in making them useful. For example, List of museums in Alabama is now very attractive, but it suggests that there are only 11 museums in this entire state. There are eight more listed in Category:Museums in Mobile, Alabama, and that's just a beginning! Folks, an encyclopedia is supposed to be an information repository... When I said I was tempted to propose these lists for deletion, it was largely because they mislead users into thinking that Wikipedia contains very few useful articles about museums. People would be better off using the categories to help them find information. --Orlady (talk) 03:00, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
It strikes me as a bells and whistles issue; lots of features that look pretty and are a challenge to implement, but which may cause technical problems and do not necessarily help readers. I've been a fan of William of Ockham for a long time. I wish more people were. -- Donald Albury 12:19, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. If these were sensibly organized bare-bones lists that attempted to be comprehensive (similar to, for example, List of high schools in Massachusetts or List of United States magazines), I would not be complaining. Instead, what I find are highly formatted and decorated lists that include only a tiny fraction of the museums in the geographic areas they purport to cover, even omitting many museums that have Wikipedia articles. As I have attempted to say earlier, these are less useful than no list at all. --Orlady (talk) 17:47, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Well if more of you actually concentrated on helping the lists rather than sitting around and criticising them they would begin to be useful. Personally I am not particularly interested in museums, but I was beginning to clear of a huge mess that had been created -whats the point in a directory if categories can serve the same purpose?This is exactly why I put a lot of my effort into creating tables which will eventually provide a useful summary of the museu,s by state. As for images, identifying the museum physically is encyclopedic and it livens up what would otherwise be rather bland lists. Now either you begin to fill in the tables and bring them up to a higher standard or just quit moaning about the state of them. I am unwilling to develop them any further if I feel people like Orldady will go to the afd with them anyway. I had rather hoped people would added the "missing" museums -don't expect them to be complete right away ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ Talk? 10:28, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

In the past, I've done a fair amount of maintenance on this list (35 edits from July 2006 to July 2007) trying to keep it neat looking and in conformance with the manual of style, so don't take that tone with me. -- Donald Albury 15:48, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Gosh, thanks to Blofeld of SPECTRE I no longer have to bother having my own opinions or priorities. As it happens, I would rather spend my time (1) writing actual articles and adding those and other articles to categories than (2) prettifying the existing content of a page on which an itinerant contributor added red links to every old house and teapot collection in one rural county, but failed to list the state's major museums. IMO, these lists are so seriously problematic that it might be better to delete them than expend myriad additional volunteer hours continuing to add more bells and whistles. --Orlady (talk) 17:47, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Sir Blofeld: I think at this point any criticism is intended to be constructive. Once we figure out a plan that makes everyone happy we can then begin to contribute more. Contributing right now is risky because not everyone is on the same page. Once we get this all figured out, I ensure you that many of us will begin to contribute and expand these articles including myself.

Orlady: I can understand how a whole article devoted to museums in Alabama seems almost useless right now - there are only a few museums in the article, and as you said, there are more museums in the associated category than the article itself. I believe that what we're doing is establishing a framework to which we can expand states like Alabama. Somebody could easily add each state from the category into the list article, and then from there could proceed to enter in new museums not yet in Wikipedia from sources like [1], [2] and others. This allows us to have a fair amount of red links for which people may feel inclined to create a new article.

I believe that the primary useful purpose of these list articles is to provide the red links. Does anybody agree/disagree with this?

Ben Boldt (talk) 17:35, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Gee, thank you for your condescension. Actually, I am fully capable of perceiving the potential value of a whole article devoted to museums in Alabama. There probably are many more than 100 museums in the state, and a list of all those museums (or even most of them) would be useful. What I see right now in List of museums in Alabama is not that list; rather, it is a highly embellished table (nice looking, but difficult for people to add new entries to) featuring just 11 museums. There are 33 museums in the Alabama museums category and its subcategories, not counting the old ships and other "maritime museums." Adding similar detail and formatting for each of the ~22 omitted museums that have articles, not to mention the dozens more that still lack articles, would require a lot of volunteer effort (not to mention leading to a very long article). I have trouble seeing what the purpose of that effort would be, other than creating an illustrated travel guide to the state's museums (something that Wikipedia is not).--Orlady (talk) 18:43, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I assure you that I was not trying to be condescending. I have been speaking as carefully as possible specifically to avoid conflict. You believe that the tables are overly-embellished and difficult to edit. I agree with you on that.

To make this debate more organized, I think I'll make separate sections for each of these issues.

Ben Boldt (talk) 23:13, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Redesign of List of museums in the United States

Please click edit on the appropriate section and leave your comments. Please paraphrase any of your unbiased comments that you've left above down here too so we can see everything at the same place. With your help, we can make this place everything it ought to be. We shall not hastily implement any of these changes until everyone is reasonably satisfied.

Possible Removal from Wikipedia

Don't remove: I believe the only purpose this list serves is to provide red links. This is useful, but maybe not useful enough to justify the amount of trouble it takes to create and maintain. Ben Boldt (talk) 23:13, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I also vote don't remove in case that course of action is on the table. FieldMarine (talk) 13:22, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Don't remove: I see no reason to do so. -- Donald Albury 14:01, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I'm not planning to propose removal -- assuming continuing progress in improving the content of these articles. --Orlady (talk) 20:46, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Resolution?? It seems we have chosen not to remove the articles. Any objections? Ben Boldt (talk) 06:17, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Don't remove It sounds like we have a consensus. Noroton (talk) 02:41, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Separation of Articles

Separate: This article was originally separated because it was over 100k in size. This caused jerky behavior in some browsers and long page draw times with any speed of internet connection. There is a Wikimedia limitation that prevents us from having an icon next to each museum when all museums are in one large article. These are the reasons I originally split the article. If we removed all icons, which I see as being extremely wasteful since much this information would be lost, we could combine everything back into one article.

We also could separate this article into, say, four pieces instead of 50. This could solve the icon problem leaving only medium-large sized pages. Ben Boldt (talk) 23:13, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I vote for separate article for each state to avoid the file size problem we had before. FieldMarine (talk) 13:24, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Combine back into one article: The reason for breaking up the list seems to be because of the problem processing so many icons. I don't like the icons, and removing them would like obviate the need to split the list. -- Donald Albury 14:01, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment: If we remove the icons, we would be able to merge everything back into one article like you said. But this article has potential to expand to many times its current size. Only a small handful of museums are in these articles right now. I would imagine the article could grow 5-10 times larger as people continue to add more museums. If someone comes in and adds every museum in a certain state and that happens a few times, the article will become too large. Then we'll have to decide whether to turn away "less important" museums or how to split everything up again.

Already, splitting the articles has been a great success as far as the number of people working on them and contributing. Many of them have become part of wiki projects for their respective states. List of museums in Connecticut grew to an incredible size. I don't even know how we would merge this article back in with its newly added content.

I don't know if it's possible anymore to merge everything back together to exactly the way it was.

Ben Boldt (talk) 15:39, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I support Separate article for each state. The size of the national list alone discouraged people with interest in one particular state from contributing. Also, state-focused editors (of whom there are many) are far less likely to help maintain national or regional lists than lists that are linked from other state-specific articles or portals. (Example: When List of museums in Tennessee appeared, I added to it because it was an embarrassment in its original condition.) --Orlady (talk) 19:31, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Resolution?? It seems we have chosen for each state to have its own separate article. Donald Albury: Would you like to continue to argue merging everything back together? Anyone else? Ben Boldt (talk) 06:17, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

No further objection. -- Donald Albury 13:07, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Support separation and yes, it looks like a consensus. The list is fat and happy in Connecticut. Noroton (talk) 02:45, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Table format developed by Sir Blofeld

Revert to old format: I think the new format is cumbersome and not especially useful. It is also difficult to edit especially for people not familiar with tables in wiki markup. I think the old format with just the name of the museum and possibly also with an icon to identify the type of museum is better. I designed the icons to take the place of the bullets that were previously there so they are a functional addition that doesn't take up any additional space. The markup for the icons is very simple and should be easy to figure out and edit. There are also a lot of us watching that can easily fix any problems people leave behind. Ben Boldt (talk) 23:13, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Revert to the old format (before the icons were introduced) (see my comments under 'Separation of Articles'). -- Donald Albury 14:01, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

(See #Input for format.)

So we are all talking about the same things, where are the examples of the "Old Format" and "New Format"? --Orlady (talk) 23:51, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Example of new table format:

Name Image Location Founded Area of study Summary
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Sixteenth Street Baptist Church section of the Milestone exhibition gallery in the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.jpg Birmingham 1992 History A large interpretive museum and research center that features the struggles of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is located in the Civil Rights District and opened in November 1992, with more than 25,000 visitors during its first week.
United States Space & Rocket Center Rockets in Huntsville Alabama.JPG Huntsville 1970 Aviation A museum designed to showcase the hardware of the U.S. space program. The idea was first proposed by Dr. Wernher von Braun, while serving as director of the Marshall Space Flight Center. Opened in 1970 after the U.S. Army donated land on its Redstone Arsenal. It houses more than 1,500 pieces of rocket and space hardware.

Code to create new table format:

{| class="wikitable sortable" width=100%
!width="19%"| Name
!width="10%"| Image
!width="13%"| Location
!width="7%"| Founded
!width="7%"| Area of study
| [[Birmingham Civil Rights Institute]] || [[Image:321050pv cropped.jpg|120px]]|| [[Birmingham, Alabama|Birmingham]] || [[1992]] || {{Museum|History}} ||A large interpretive museum and research center that features the struggles of the [[African-American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)|American Civil Rights Movement]] in the [[1950s]] and [[1960s]]. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is located in the [[Birmingham Civil Rights District|Civil Rights District]] and opened in November 1992, with more than 25,000 visitors during its first week.
| [[United States Space & Rocket Center]] || [[Image:Rockets in Huntsville Alabama.JPG|120px]] || [[Huntsville, Alabama|Huntsville]] || [[1970]] || {{Museum|Aviation}} || A museum designed to showcase the hardware of the U.S. space program. The idea was first proposed by Dr. [[Wernher von Braun]], while serving as director of the [[Marshall Space Flight Center]]. Opened in [[1970]] after the U.S. Army donated land on its [[Redstone Arsenal]]. It houses more than 1,500 pieces of rocket and space hardware.

Old format:

HistoryBirmingham Civil Rights Institute
AviationUnited States Space & Rocket Center
ChildrenA museum not in Wikipedia yet | web

Code to create old format:

{{Museum|History}}[[Birmingham Civil Rights Institute]]<br>
{{Museum|Aviation}}[[United States Space & Rocket Center]]<br>
{{Museum|Children}}[[A museum not in Wikipedia yet]] | [ web]<br>

Ben Boldt (talk) 00:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Keep the new format that is, the sortable table. Best thing since sliced bread and the polio vaccine. Noroton (talk) 02:49, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Link boxes developed by Ben Boldt and Sir Blofeld

Combine: I like the way Sir Blofeld's box is much more concise and I like they way my box looks. Maybe we could combine these using some collapse/expand technique so that it starts out collapsed like Sir Blofeld's and can be expanded into a very large box like the one I made. Ben Boldt (talk) 23:13, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I have combined them to a certain degree. Please tell me what you think. It is now collapsible at 2 different levels. To see it, view the main article, List of museums in the United States. Ben Boldt (talk) 22:00, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment: In my opinion, the format on the main page looks good. Still need to determine format for the individual state pages. FieldMarine (talk) 21:36, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment: The same template could theoretically be used at the bottom of each state page. Although I haven't tested this yet, the template should theoretically turn the current state's link black and non-clickable which is probably desirable behavior. I specifically made the outer box expanded by default and the inner box collapsed by default, but this can also be changed so they are both collapsed by default. I don't have any really strong preference. What are your views on using this updated template on each page? Should the template be further modified? I think the font size is good but I'm not sure how to change it.

Ben Boldt (talk) 22:41, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I say use the template for the state pages, but place on the bottom of the page for these articles & leave on the top for the main page. FieldMarine (talk) 23:09, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Resolution?? Does anybody disagree with me and FieldMarine? The one multi-collapsible template would go on the top of the main page and the bottom of every state page. This may be the only consistent element across all these articles. Ben Boldt (talk) 06:08, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Works for me. --Orlady (talk) 14:22, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Works for me, too. Noroton (talk) 02:50, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Input for format

I recommend going back to the old format. I agree with the concerns of Donald Albury & Ben Boldt that the new table format makes it cumbersome for people to add new museums & adds little value. I believe it adds little value because the detailed info for each museum is or will be in the individual article for that museum. The old format provides concise list that can be two columns per page for easy viewing so that users can quickly scan museums in an area. As discussed before, the red link issue will be solved over time as new articles are created for the museums (case in point, see Florida list over time). Using only Category as a list of museums does not provide mechanism for people to see comprehensive list of museums in an area including those not yet added to wikipedia. Also, to me, the old format seems well within the guidelines of a viable list as outlined by wikipedia in Categories, lists, and series boxes and the numerous other lists I have seen in Wikipedia. Thanks FieldMarine (talk) 13:56, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I find the new table format excessively cumbersome. In the future, when a state list is reasonably comprehensive in its content, this format could be a nice enhancement. However, at the present time when the state lists include only a tiny fraction of the museums in the state, this format hinders their improvement by (1) creating formatting challenges for people trying to add to them and (2) making contributors feel that in order to add a museum, they need to determine what type of museum it is, when it was founded, etc.

I appreciate those "museum type" pictographs for their design quality, but I still do not see them as valuable additions to the list. From the perspective of a user, with a few notable exceptions (such as the airplane), I do not find them effective in communicating the museum type. (In the time it takes me to scroll down to the key to find the meaning of a pictograph, I could have read a dozen text-only list entries.) From the perspective of a contributor, they get in the way of adding to the list (it's harder to figure out alphabetical order when every list entry starts with something like {{Museum|Historic Site}}) and classifying museums according to that scheme can be a daunting task because it turns out that many real-world museums don't fit into those categories.

If a table format is implemented (now or in the future), I'd like to see a single sortable wikitable for each state, listing museum name, city, and optional notes about the museum (for example, "on the University of Chicago campus" or "home of President Andrew Jackson"). I don't see particular value in including "date founded" (although it's possible that some users are interested in this) nor in short paragraphs describing every museum.

--Orlady (talk) 01:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I can agree with all of that. The pictographs may not be as useful as I had first imagined. One of the extra advantages of each state having its own article is that they can evolve in different directions now and don't need to all be the same format. Some may feature a comprehensive, sortable table form of the list and others can remain as a short list of just the names of the museums. The new problem would be determining whether each article should be table form or simple name form. This could become highly debatable unless we make some sort of quantization that can easily determine it. In what exact way can we make this judgement? All that we need to do is get these articles into a good starting form, and then from there they can be more or less free to evolve in their own ways. Ben Boldt (talk) 06:03, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Comment: other than having the standard List of museums in the United States table at the bottom of each state museum list (for ease of navigation between the different state lists of museums), we are going to have each state list develop individually without conforming to a standard format? Is that what everyone is agreeing to? Perhaps a few guidelines should be proposed for some degree of standardization. Perhaps we pick one of the state pages already in process & use that as the template. FieldMarine (talk) 21:55, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment: I like just about everything in the table format. Another editor and I have been adding to the List of museums in Connecticut. I certainly haven't found the tables difficult to add to, and I doubt that more than a small minority of other editors would. The pictures are nice additions, and we already have added several to the list. I am a bit concerned about the eventual size of the Connecticut list, which might be cumbersome when it's close to being filled with pictures for every museum, but I'd hate to lose them because they make the page look a bit better and might be useful in helping people to remember particular museums. I'm not sure how helpful the year-founded column is. Overall, the table makes it much easier to quickly search through a list that has descriptions. I've made some other changes on the Connecticut list to aid readers in finding museums:
    • Broken up the long table by county That way, museums that are in the same area are together. This should aid anyone thinking about visiting more than one museum in the same area or trying to decide what the options are in picking a museum to see in a particular area.
    • Added a list of museums in alphabetical order I put this at the top.
    • Added a list of museums in order by community to help readers who know what town, city or community a museum is located in but have trouble remembering the name. Several museum names have changed in Connecticut, and some are known by different names than their official names.

It's a bit long, and this scheme might not work for every state, but the goal has been to make the page as useful as possible for readers. I'd also welcome any critiques and suggestions. Noroton (talk) 00:50, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

IMHO, you could greatly simplify that Connecticut list if you replaced the 3 separate sets of lists with a single sortable wikitable. List the museums in alphabetical order by name, list their locations in another column, and let users sort the list by location if they want. I don't see good justification for listing by county, particularly in a state where counties have no particular meaning. (Your argument about helping visitors is a nonstarter for me, due to the policy that says that Wikipedia is not a travel guide.) However, if you want to make it possible to generate a listing by county, the sortable table could include a "Counties" column. For setup guidance, some examples of sortable wikitables (with slightly different formats) include List of counties in Connecticut, List of museums in Alabama, and List of cities and towns in Tennessee. --Orlady (talk) 01:19, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Wow! I didn't know about that sortable format! That is so cool you've just brought tears to my eyes! I want it, and that will help enormously! How long have we had that function? Very, very nice. Noroton (talk) 01:25, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I can't say how long it has existed, but it's not hard to implement. Just change class="wikitable" to class="wikitable sortable". More advanced details include a code for identifying a particular column as nonsortable and work-arounds for dealing with empty cells. --Orlady (talk) 02:07, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, as for counties, it doesn't matter that they're just geographical entities in Connecticut nowadays. Except for a few small ones, people know where they are (or can figure it out), but people might not know where some of the small towns are. It doesn't matter that Wikipedia is not a travel guide -- if we're going to list museums by geography for any reason at all, then county categorizing is likely also helpful. Whatever saves the reader time in finding a museum after forgetting the museum's name, or for finding out what museums are nearby (for any reason at all), then let's use them. Thanks for the input, by the way. Noroton (talk) 01:42, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Other related discussions

I am moving discussions related specifically to the Florida page to that page. Any objections? Thanks! FieldMarine (talk) 15:47, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Move complete. FieldMarine (talk) 23:13, 16 January 2008 (UTC)