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Convict Love Tokens

Museum interactive for touchscreen and web

Client:National Museum of AustraliaVisit the website

Convicts transported to Australia in the early colonial days would create mementoes for faraway loved ones, inscribing messages on coins. The Convict Love Tokens interactive for the National Museum of Australia, delivered in-gallery on touchscreen and on the web, showcases over 300 tokens, with detailed photography, transcriptions, and background information where available.

Token detail

The online interactive uses an innovative way of sharing templates between the client and the server. Initial pageloads, irrespective of how deep in the site, are rendered server-side and delivered to the client very quickly. Subsequent pages are rendered dynamically client-side for browsers that support the HTML5 History API.

Tokens by year

Using the tokens themselves in a column-chart gives a sense of the collection timeline
Tokens by year

Collection highlights

Selection matching the exhibited tokens in the Museum
Collection highlights

A Rails backend powers the website, and the gallery version of the interactive is fed from this too, generated through a static build process. Admins can trigger a new build of the gallery version at any time and have it zipped up into a single file that’s easy to deploy on the standalone kiosk. And all the token data is available to users via .csv download and a JSON API.