Fish feeding and home museums 7 Apr 2020

Museums have been highlighting and reworking their digital offer for audiences, and for many online visitors have grown dramatically since the UK shutdown. ALVA reports that the British Museum has doubled its visitors over two and a half weeks, and the National Gallery’s virtual tours are up 796% over a week. The Science Museum has doubled take up for its learning resources and has tripled those playing its games. Here is a representative sample of the refreshed digital offer from museums:

  • National Museums Liverpool has launched ‘My Home is My Museum’, a project aimed at 4 – 11 year olds which encourages them to make an art gallery or collection in their own homes to film and share. NML
  • Manchester Museum has published a quarantine microsite, featuring a Cultural First Aid Kit of 30 fun activities that can be enjoyed at home or in hospital. Manchester Art Gallery also continues to offer its mindful art audioguide ‘And Breathe’ MMinQuarantine, Manchester Art Gallery
  • Bolton Library and Museum Service has made an assured start, offering daily themed activities and an ebook among other things. Crucially, the service has asked its audience what they want via Facebook – requests have included Egypt school sessions, recorded fish feeding and songs from its Toddler Tales series. Bolton LMS
  • The Science Museum’s offer includes 22 scientific experiments to run at home, as well as films and online games. SMG’s Science Director Roger Highfield has also written a blog on the science of the coronavirus, which considers the various scientific approaches that might help end the pandemic. SMG (home science), SMG (other activities), SMG blog (coronavirus)
  • Royal Museums Greenwich reminds audiences that they can still look up and explore the night sky, offering a guide to the month including a supermoon, Venus and the Lyrids meteor shower. It adds ‘April is a fantastic month for stargazers’. RMG
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries is offering a 3D tour using ScanTech Digital, beginning with Jacob Epstein’s Lucifer in the museum’s Round Room. This has also attracted much larger audiences since the lockdown. BMAG
  • The British Museum has blogged some advice on the range of its online options, from podcasts to learning and visiting the museum in Google Street View. British Museum
  • There are also some attempts at huge comprehensive listings, including MCN’s global ‘Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources’, and selections including the Guardian’s choice of ten virtual museum tours, from the National Gallery to Vatican Museums and the Natural History Museum. MCN, Guardian