This article presents the semantic portal MuseumFinland for publishing heterogeneous museum collections on the Semantic Web. It is shown how museums with their semantically rich and interrelated collection content can create a large, consolidated semantic collection portal together on the web. By sharing a set of ontologies, it is possible to make collections semantically interoperable, and provide the museum visitors with intelligent content-based search and browsing services to the global collection base. The architecture underlying MuseumFinland separates generic search and browsing services from the underlying application dependent schemas and metadata by a layer of logical rules. As a result, the portal creation framework and software developed has been applied successfully to other domains as well. MuseumFinland got the Semantic Web Challence Award (second prize) in 2004. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.