The article in front you is an open article and will be updated in the following days. It comes as the first article within my initiative to share virtual museums, podcasts, curiosity boosters and other ways to live through social distancing during the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Last update: March 30, 2020
I have a little thought to share with you. Let me know if you agree: museums in small and middle sized cities could be the first to open when the time comes to ease the restrictions in Europe, USA, and China. Why? Because people can visit museum and at the same time respect the social distance. My suggestion would be:
- A limited number of visitors – that is why I suggest just smaller and middle sized cities for the beginning,
- No more than two people in a group,
- Hand sanitising at the entrance,
- Mandatory distance of two meters between visitors,
- Everyone wearing a mask just in case.
- It is far easier to sustain the measures than restaurants, schools, or hairdressers, and it will bring some moments of joy to people after the stringent lockdowns.
Now when we are staying at home, let’s make our days beautiful with some virtual museums, museum talks, posts on social media from museums, etc.
Virtual Museum Resources
It takes some effort from museum workers to create excellent virtual museum resources, focused on quality content above all. However, many museums are starting creating resources for millions of people who are facing social distancing, lockdowns and complete isolation from the rest of the world. This “rest of the world” is also entirely isolated, so… here come virtual times!
Are you a museum worker? Contact me, I will offer you some essential consultation about virtual museums for free!
So right now, I will select just a few great resources. As I already stated, these few resources are only for the beginning, as more is coming very soon.
Is there a more delightful way to wake up in the morning than – listening to a podcast? Yesterday I participated at the traditional Monday Twitter chat #MuseumHour, and the topic of conversation was museum podcasting. I will share a few Museum podcast resources with you and will be adding up more, the ones I find or the ones you share with me.
Museum Archipelago – a great collection of museum podcasts for advanced museum goers, highly focused on non-neutrality of museums
The Wonder House – a London-based project focused on decolonisation and inclusive approach on heritage from different cultures.
The C Word – conversations between conservators
Museum n’That – a cool collection of podcasts made by Leeds Museums & Galleries
There are more museum podcast I still need to check, so stay tuned for updates!
Are you parents with young children?
I do not have children of my own, neither I work much with children, but I have a deep understanding of a particular issue. Spending days in isolation with small children may get complicated. To enhance children’s curiosity and creativity, I recommended resources collected by the blogger Museum Mum.
Do you know any other resource for parents with young children? Share them with me!
Museum Social Media Pages
I don’t recommend you scrolling on social media news feed these days. At least, do it moderately. It is full of coronavirus news, many of them have questionable sources and worthiness. Additionally, not everything your friends, colleagues, or relatives post is favourable for your mental health.
At the same time, many museums are more active than ever in sharing their collections, stories, knowledge… What can we do to support them? I would recommend you creating separated social media profiles for following only museums. It can be just one individual page on Twitter or Instagram. As for Facebook, there are options to configure news feed the way you follow only museums and a few other things.
My special recommendation
Uffizi Galleries, both for their webpage and social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – for everyone who loves beautiful Italy and wants to support them! They post enjoyable content that made you feel close to Florence and Italian renaissance!
The social media initiative #EmptyMuseum from the Italian Ministry of Culture wants to keep Italians in touch with their heritage. But since the primary hashtag is in English, it suggest an idea of a bigger action. I suggest you to follow the content flow coming from this initiative!
If you haven’t done so, I recommend the social media pages of Auschwitz Memorial, especially their Twitter profile. In these moments, they continue active and carefully dedicated to tell us untold or forgotten stories from one of the saddest places of our human history.
Read also my older post before I bring up more: Museum Social Media
Travel sound resources
This is special choice I would like to recommend you, for being perfectly unique.
Travel bloggers are many, but not many of them offer you immersive soundtracks recorded on particular places they visited. While the blog Cities and Memories has a list of resources on their own, I especially recommend their collection of city soundtracks.
What can feed your curiosity about European history and heritage more than Europeana digital collections? Not only you will find beautiful high-quality pictures of different objects and buildings, but also amazing stories.
Europeana website is made available in all the official languages of European Union, although translating is slightly inconsistent and local versions are not available for every language.
In the following days I will make an article dedicated to Europeana solely, to promote their amazing resources.
Great virtual visits to Museums
Here I come with a few museums I already found having great virtual visit solutions. I don’t think many do so far, mostly because I consider great content as the most essential element of an excellent virtual museum. Too many museums invested in “virtual walks” years ago, without sharing much content. I hope it changes now!
For now, I will recommend you to explore the Google Art Project, and will son follow with a selection of the best virtual museum resources on that platform.
As my thesis was about virtual museums, I will talk more about the topic in my next personal opinion article. In conclusion, I need to say that I don’t want to consider myself a “heritage interpretation professional” or a “culture travel promoter” or anything I used to say. Above all, I am a creative, a kind of artist.
I am not a healthcare professional, medical scientist, politician, economist, or a logistics person. Therefore, I can’t help directly in the measures against the coronavirus. However, I can help museums, and I can help millions of people in social isolation to make their days better.
Participate in this initiative!
Furthermore, I would like to encourage everyone to translate my articles to other languages. Although many people know English as a foreign language and reads in English normally, getting a text in your own language is always a warmer experience. I will bring up Croatian and Portuguese as soon as possible, and soon will try to follow with Italian, Spanish, Greek, German, and Russian. These just the languages I can get easily from my close family/friends, but there are more languages.
I am not only telling you that I will update this article. You are invited to participate too. For any ideas and suggestions, you are free to message me to lana[at]funmuseums[dot]eu or to tag me through my personal Twitter: