Museum Websites and Enhanced Public Engagement

Over the past few months I’ve been looking at ways in which social media is being employed in new ways to share information on historical events, public history, and the digitisation of historical resources. This has included using a combination of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and traditional websites.

As part of my work contributing to H-Net Slavery’s Twitter account this month, last week I came across the website for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This striking website inspired me to want to highlight some of the work that museums are doing online that raise awareness, not only of their own institutions, but of their holdings, exhibits, and important contemporary issues. These sites bring visitors into the museum through their browsers where ever they are in the world. As such, here are some great examples of modern, accessible, and engaging websites from museums that focus on the broad subject areas of Isles Abroad. Enjoy!

smithsonian-nmaahc-outside-20160720

Photo credit: Fuzheado via Wikimedia Commons.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Explore the building, explore the collections, and immediately be confronted with the goals and ideals of this museum “100 Years in the making”, all online. The NMAAHC opens on September 24, 2016. I hope to be able to find an opportunity to make it to Washington, D.C., to make my way through its displays and exhibits, but until then, this beautiful, inviting website will make do quite well.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Find out about current and upcoming exhibitions, discover online resources for teachers to use in schools, and learn about the research and curation process that goes into a museum on such an important but “difficult” topic. There’s even information and advice on how to become a defender of human rights. Manitoba is one of the few Canadian provinces that I haven’t visited yet, but it’d be great to get to Winnipeg sometime soon!

Museum of London Docklands

Housed in a formed sugar warehouse along the side of the West India docks in the early 19th century, the Museum of London Docklands brings visitors to their website directly into their exhibitions with slideshows, a timeline outlining their permanent exhibitions, and activities for families to do at home. The London, Sugar, and Slavery 1600-present permanent gallery acknowledges the history of the museum building and the vital role sugar and slavery played in London’s development.

These are just a few examples of modern engaging museum websites. We’d love to hear about your favourites, so be sure to share a link or two in the comments below!

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