The article in front you is an open list 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.
I am committed to update this guide on a daily basis.
Latest update: April 24, 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.
Update: on April 19, Austria announced the opening of smaller, local museums by the mid-May. Will see how the other countries will follow. In the recent webinar held by OECD, the speakers highlighted the fact that we need to get a different view on our museums. Museums need us. They don’t need beautiful academic words, frameworks, practices, policies. They need us. Let’s enjoy them virtually now! Germany also started the process of reopening museums, while in Croatia, some museums will open in the week after 4rd of May – although many will sadly remain closed not due to pandemic, but due to the recent Zagreb Earthquake.
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.
Notice: Some chapters have main articles. These are special articles I made about individual topics, with more information and resources behind them.
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? Get your own museum drawing/sketch.
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.
Main article: Listening to some sounds – Museum Podcasts!
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
Museopunks – a heart-warming podcast series with Suse Anderson from the American Alliance of Museums as a moderator.
There are more museum podcast I still need to check, so stay tuned for updates! For a longer list of museum and culture related podcasts, I recommend you to check a full directory made by the museum podcaster and author Hannah Hethmon.
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.
As a “big child”, I really liked the Met Kids virtual museum. So I warmly recommend it to parents with young children.
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 social media recommendations
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! They post in Italian, so if you are one of those who dream to learn some Italian – here is the chance! Otherwise, automatic translators work just fine.
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 just yet, 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. I recommend to everyone to support their great work.
Follow Musee d’Orsay on social media. They will flood your feed with beautiful paintings and emotional stories. They post in French, so if you are one of those who dream to learn some French – here is the chance! Otherwise, automatic translators work just fine.
Read also my older post before I bring up more: Museum Social Media
Movies, music, etc.
I would recommend everyone to consume content that relates to museums, or something museum-related. For example, I found this article with 5 museum movies every museum fan will love to watch.
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.
Museum & Heritage bloggers, educators, etc.
If you like Ancient World, I would like to recommend you following Darius Arya. His active presence on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube will make you love ancient monuments and the beautiful city of Rome. Now in these times, he intensified his online seminar activity.
Main article: How to explore Europeana Collections?
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.
The My Sketched Travels initiative is mine, and it is on my blog. As a sketch artist, I started the initiative to promote the idea of slow traveling. Slow travel is the choice for a more sustainable future. Drawing places requires time, and
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: