MIMO began life as a consortium of some of Europe’s most important musical instruments museums, which came together for a European Commission funded project that aimed to create a single online access point to their collections. The MIMO Project ran from September 2009 until August 2011 and successfully achieved all of its objectives, in the process creating the world's largest freely accessible database for information on musical instruments held in public collections.
In addition, the partners worked on multilingual content to enable searching in six different languages, associating non-specialist vocabulary with terms and classification systems used by professionals. Other key outcomes included the development of documentation that sets out standards for photographing musical instruments, so that other museums can make use of these to digitise their own collections, and detailed guidelines on how to set up a repository to enable the harvesting of digital content.
The aim of the consortium is now to become the single access point for information on public collections of musical instruments for the entire world. With that in mind we are actively seeking new museums to contribute digital content, not just from with Europe but around the globe. We believe that this represents a unique opportunity for museums to pull their resources and contribute to a truly worldwide initiative which will have long term benefits to anyone with an interest in collections of musical instruments.