Virtual exhibitions

written by AnneMarie on April 4, 2011 in Behind the scenes with 2 comments

Last year we created our first virtual exhibition on Art Nouveau, a new feature for Europeana to promote some of its best content in a European context. The exhibition was built using Omeka.

This year, we are re-using this concept to allow partners to highlight some of their finest objects in Europeana. Several partners in the network are currently working with us to create exhibitions of their own- we plan to launch the first ones before the summer.

When comparing virtual exhibitions to physical ones, the argument is often heard that nothing compares to viewing ‘the real thing’. Well, how could we disagree? The digital representation is by far not the same as walking around a physical sculpture, listening to a live performance, viewing the original painting.

But….putting together an exhibition from a variety of institutions can be done much faster in the digital space than in the physical world (although we do have our challenges, too). It generally comes at a lower cost. People from all over the world are able to visit it. And it’s open 24 hours a day, for as long as we like it to be.

Apart from re-using the format, we plan to extend the functionality, too. In the future we plan to offer more interactivity. People can choose the order in which they like to see the objects, compile their own exhibitions and share them, or add comments to exisiting ones. Which museums allows you to scribble your comments on the wall next to a painting?

Coming in the next few months are exhibitions on Jewish Heritage from Judaica, and an exhibition on musical instruments by the MIMO project.