Pachyderm was a collaborative project, led by the New Media Consortium. It involved the development of a rich media authoring platform, which would be used to create online interactive presentations from museum collections and teaching materials.

From the NMC Pachyderm website:

Designed for people with little multimedia experience, Pachyderm is accessed through a web browser and is as easy to use as filling out a web form. Authors upload their own media (images, audio clips, and short video segments) and place them into pre-designed templates, which can play video and audio, link to other templates, zoom in on images, and more. Once the templates have been completed and linked together, the presentation is published and can then be downloaded and placed on the author’s website or on a CD or DVD ROM. Authors may also leave their presentations on the Pachyderm server and link directly to them there. The result is an attractive, interactive Flash-based multimedia presentation.

From the showcase page on the University of Calgary Learning Commons website:1

The Learning Commons is part of an elite team comprised of world-leading Museums and Universities, embarking on the development of an easy to use authoring tool for the presentation of visually rich media. The Pachyderm 2.0 Project is a partnership led by the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Software development teams and digital library experts from five NMC universities are working with five major museums to create a new, open source authoring environment for creators of learning objects. The new tool will be based on Pachyderm, the multimedia, online authoring and publishing tool developed by SFMOMA to author its successful series, Making Sense of Modern Art.

I was involved with programming the repository (initially designed as an extension of the CAREO learning object repository, and later redesigned as an object-oriented metadata and media management layer) and authoring server software, and collaborated closely with team members from the University of Calgary, Sonoma State University, University of British Columbia, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and others through the New Media Consortium.

The Pachyderm software was used to produce the website for the Glenbow Museum’s Mavericks exhibit.

Screenshots of the authoring and presentation interfaces:

Pachyderm authoring interface

Pachyderm ePortfolio Uninvited Guests Mother Mary Greene Mother Mary Greene - zoom

Sample presentations created in Pachyderm:
SFMOMA MSOMA The Early 20th Century

  1. over the years, the Learning Commons became the Teaching and Learning Centre, which then became the Educational Development Unit of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning ↩︎