British Museum moves its collection online with “Museum of the World” timeline

The Museum is partnering with Google in a move that it says “enables us to give the Enlightenment ideal on which the Museum was founded a new reality”.

The Museum of the World timeline
The Museum of the World timeline

The British Museum is partnering with Google to move 4,500 objects from its collection online and launch a new interactive digital exhibition.

The museum has formed a partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, which aims to help the cultural sector share more of its collections.

Part of the British Museum’s project is the new Museum of the World platform, described as a “Chrome experiment”, which lets people explore objects from the museum’s collection on an interactive timeline.

Museum of the World
Museum of the World

The Museum of the World microsite was developed with Weir + Wong and lets users see connections between the objects, as well as different cultures and time-periods.

Visitors can also virtually walk through the permanent galleries at the British Museum using indoor Google Street View footage. The British Museum says it is the largest space to be captured on indoor Street View so far.

To launch the partnership, the British Museum has also developed a series of curated virtual experiments – these include Celtic Life in Iron Age Britain and an exploration of the museum’s physical Egypt: Faith After the Pharaohs exhibition.

The museums says it is also using “Gigapixel technology” to create a high-definition image of its 6th century Chinese Admonitions Scroll.

The Scroll
The Admonitions Scroll

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, says: “The world today has changed, the way we access information has been revolutionised by digital technology.

“This enables us to give the Enlightenment ideal on which the Museum was founded a new reality. It is now possible to make our collection accessible, explorable and enjoyable not just for those who physically visit, but to everybody with a computer or a mobile device.”

He adds: “And this isn’t just about putting the collection ‘online’. Through our partnership with Google, we hope to give people new ways to experience and enjoy the Museum, new ways to learn, and new ways to teach.”

The British Museum has previously partnered with Samsung and visualisation studio Soluis Heritage to create an immersive exhibition showing a Bronze Age settlement.

Discover more:

• British Museum uses new technology to take visitors back to the Bronze Age

The British Museum on Google Street View
The British Museum on Google Street View
Shooting the museum for Google Street View
Shooting the museum for Google Street View

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