The Digital Museum

WW1 Online – 5 digital museum projects around the Great War

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Image: Adam Jacobs: 1885 bei der Armee. From www.europeana1914-1918.eu

Museums across the UK have launched projects to mark the centenary of WW1. We look at 5 examples of museums using online platforms to connect with their audience and deliver the digital museum experience around the Great War anniversary.

1: The Imperial War Museum: Lives of the First World War

We looked at this project in an earlier blog post, and it’s still one of the most impressive uses of digital research and sharing out there. Users are invited to add to the growing archive of information on servicemen and women who served overseas during the conflict. It’s a great mix of official archive material and human stories, with an emphasis on user-generated content

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Sound and vision – multimedia art online

baxterWas alerted by Ruth Hendry of Digital Museum Blog in New Zealand to a very smart bit of digital marketing being used by Arts Te Papa to run alongside their art exhibitions.

The gallery has posted digital versions of its collections online, but enhanced the experience by adding video and – rather neatly – Spotify playlists of music specially selected to go with the collections. The musical themes are selected by musicians to complement the visuals.

It’s a really clever use of multi-media and allows the user to have a very immersive online experience, and a very different one to simply viewing the images online. It’s a great example of using digital platforms to add something extra to the visitor’s experience – and of making the digital museum an attraction in its own right.

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A shareable exhibition

ps1_372743_fnt_dd_t13We quite often find some of the museums we work with can get a little nervous about putting their exhibits online – we’ve even had the comment “if we put everything on the website, why would people visit us if they’ve already seen everything”?

Here’s a great example of a museum doing just that – the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore has put its entire American Artists Abroad exhibition of paintings online for the duration of the event.

It is even inviting users to download the images, or to create their own online exhibition with them – which can be shared on social media.

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