Cairo Lecture: The Importance of Museum Databases

Presented by: Dr. Janice Kamrin, Egyptian Art Department Curator at the MET, and Dr. Yasmin El Shazly, Deputy Director for Research and Programs at ARCE

  • 6:00 PM Cairo Time
  • ARCE Cairo Center 2 Midan Simon Bolivar Garden City Cairo Governorate 11461 Egypt
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  • Doors Open at 5:30 PM Cairo Time
  • Doors Close at 6:00 PM

Lecture Information

Museum databases are critical tools for the documentation, management, and dissemination of museum collections. They serve as comprehensive repositories of information, encompassing detailed records of artifacts. By providing structured and accessible data, museum databases facilitate curatorial practices, enhance research opportunities, and improve public engagement. They support scholarly work by enabling researchers to conduct in-depth analyses and cross-referencing of collections from different institutions globally. 

The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) is in the process of implementing a comprehensive program to expand museum locations and decentralize collections throughout Cairo and other parts of the country. This program has seen the construction of two major new museums in the vicinity of Cairo, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) and the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), as well as a number of regional museums. Such a massive undertaking requires a large cadre of MoTA personnel who are properly trained in collections management and a strong collections management system that would enable them to properly document, monitor, and track all the artifacts under their care. ARCE was recently awarded a U.S. Embassy Cultural Property Agreement Implementation Grant (CPAIG) through which it will work with MoTA staff to conduct a needs assessment for the successful implementation of a unified museum database system.

In this lecture Janice Kamrin will talk about the importance of museum databases and how the idea of building a database for the Egyptian Museum in Cairo was born. She will also provide information about the system used by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yasmin El Shazly will then talk about the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ Central Information System: Data Rescue, Training and Needs Assessment project. 

Speakers Bio

Dr. Janice Kamrin – Curator, Egyptian Art Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Janice Kamrin holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include Middle Kingdom tomb art, the archaeology of Thebes, and the funerary arts of the first millennium. In the Department, she oversees matters related to The Museum System (TMS) and technology in general. She is a member of the Joint Expedition to Malqata, the festival city of Amenhotep III, and is working on projects related to the archives of The Met’s early 20th Century Egyptian Expedition. Before coming to The Met, Janice directed several projects at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, for the American Research Center in Egypt and worked closely with Zahi Hawass, former head of the antiquities service. She is on the board of the American Research Center in Egypt.

Dr. Yasmin El Shazly – Deputy Director for Research and Programs at the American Research Center in Egypt

Dr. El Shazly previously held the position of General Supervisor of the Department of International Organizations of Cultural Heritage and International Cooperation (2016-2018) and Assistant to the Minister for Museum Affairs (2015-2016) at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities (now the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities). She was also Head of the Registration, Collections Management and Documentation Department at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo (2009-2016) and a member of the Museum’s Board of Directors (2010-2013). El Shazly is currently a member of several boards, including ICOM Egypt (Vice Chair). She has taught courses at the American University in Cairo, Cairo University and AMIDEAST. El Shazly earned her BA from the American University in Cairo and her MA and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

Her Ph.D. dissertation, entitled Royal Ancestor Worship in Deir el-Medina during the New Kingdom, was published by Abercromby Press in 2015. Her reseach interests include ancient Egyptian art and religion of the New Kingdom, the workmen’s village of Deir el-Medina, as well Third Intermediate Period funerary art.