Digital experiences that change how we discover history – Part 2

Oct 3, 2016 | Best practice, Digital reinvention, emerging trends, GLAM sector, Libraries, new technology

The challenge of creating immersive, inspiring digital experiences in museums, libraries and galleries is driving innovation in a range of new directions. During the research for my initial post, GLAM agencies and the accidental tourist, I discovered a rich collection of agencies drawing free of their conventional access systems (catalogues) and crafting fabulous discovery experiences. I thought I’d share these with you and also undertake an ongoing quest to assemble my own collection of great ideas from across the sector.

More exploration experiences that inspire

Here are another 5 very different ways that agencies are creating new exploration experiences using emerging technology…

1.Gallery One – Cleveland Museum of Art – View the website 


An almost legendary example of connecting catalogue and interactive experience. Five feet tall, forty feet long, constructed from more than 150 touch-interactive Christie micro tiles, this wall displays 4000 collection items and refreshes every 10 minutes with new items and collections curated onsite by museum patrons.

2. Succession – Mitchell Whitelaw – View the website 


Just one of many experiences created by one of the pioneers of digital discovery. Mitchell has been an early and vocal advocate of the need for Australian cultural collection agencies to explore new, generous and serendipitous ways for visitors to interact with digital cultural collections.

This one, combines collection images to create amazing composite images that contain striking visual narratives of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne’s industrial past. One of the many intriguing aspects about this re-collection is that the process is never static – new composite images are generated on the fly from a large dataset of core digital images.

3. The Augsburg AR Display Cabinet – The Getty Museum – View the website 


An interesting use of AR to bring collection items into your physical space. This example uses AR to bring 3D collection objects into your lounge (or class) room and allows you to move the object in space to enjoy a totally different engagement experience to the roped off glass case style that you would have in the physical Getty.

4. Recognition – The Tate London – View the website 


Recognition is an artificial intelligence comparing up-to-the-minute photojournalism with British art from the Tate collection. Like the earlier Succession example, a critical component of this experience is its dynamic nature. In this case, the sometimes brutal algorithmic matching of current event imagery with historical art and imagery adds new, accessible and often humorous interpretations to both paired images.

5. The Hague and the Atlantic Wall – Museon in the Hague – View the website 


MeSch (Material encounters with Digital Cultural Heritage) Initiative and Museon have collaborated to create a series of experiences that use smart objects to trigger changes in the physical exhibition.

The Atlantic Wall uses a range of technologies to create and embed smart artifacts – replicas of museum objects that have been enhanced with sensors – into the physical space to deliver an ever changing, interactive experience inside the physical exhibition.

Stay tuned for more examples of innovation that challenge the thinking of what a collection engagement experience should or could be. Please let me know if there are other examples of great discovery experiences, please feel free to add in the comments, or if you’d like me to include in a forthcoming post, please drop me a note via the Contact page.