Memory institutions such as libraries and museums have been struggling for relevance in recent years, and that has a lot to do with the rise of the information age. This is true both in Europe and pretty much the entire world. The larger institutions such as the British Museum or the Louvre in Paris aren’t the only institutions that have had to change with the times – smaller institutions like The Museum of Technology in Spalding, England have embraced social media as well. This is an interesting and innovative museum that explores the history of British technology. They don’t look at modern technologies such as vacuuming by robots, this museum is more focused on the rise of technology up to about 1980. Below you’ll find some other lesser-known museums in Europe that are embracing the social web in order to survive and remain relevant.
Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris
The Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris may not be a household name to most of us, but they do have a great art collection and they’ve done their best to share it with the world. Their site may not be the most sophisticated on the web, but they have done a fine job of establishing their digital presence. They have a dedicated website that highlights their current and future exhibitions. What really makes this museum relevant in the digital age, though, is the fact that it offers a virtual tour. Not everyone has the resources to visit Paris and all of its great little museums like this one, but with virtual tours like this you can visit it from your own living room.
National Museum in Krakow, Poland
The Polish national museum in Krakow may not be one of the most well-known museums in Europe, but it does have a great online presence that makes it possible to explore the history of Poland from anywhere. This site doesn’t offer a virtual tour, but it does include an extensive gallery from their collections. It also has a nice visual summary section of each exhibit that really gives you a helpful glimpse of what you can expect to find if you actually have the chance to visit the physical museum. It turns out the National Museum of Poland may be one of the hidden treasures of European culture, both online and off.
The Dulwich Picture Gallery in London
Britain has many famous historical sites and museums, but you’re likely not very familiar with the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London. It’s certainly worth a visit if you ever have the chance, but fortunately they also have a solid online presence, with a well-done website and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. All of their current exhibitions are featured prominently on their site and promoted with their social media accounts. They even offer a video preview that exhibits their collections. For a small museum they have a very professional-looking site; this attention to detail will likely go a long way toward convincing many website visitors that a trip to the actual museum might be worth their while.
A Small Sampling
These are just a few examples of European museums that are embracing an online presence in order to stay relevant. There is still a place for great museums in our technologically-driven world, but they have to be online as well. Museums that ignore this simple fact will find it very difficult to survive.