Google Arts offers many such collections for digital browsing.
The collection of the National Museum of Scotland has been digitized and is now available to view on Google Arts and Culture. This is the first museum in Scotland to join the new Google project, and it joins the Taj Mahal, the Uffizi in Florence and the Palace of Versailles, which have already signed on.
Over 1,000 exhibits from the National Museum of Scotland have been recorded and patrons are now able to tour the entire collection with just a click of the mouse. With this addition, Google Arts now has more than 20,000 viewable works of art and historical items available.
Some of the items the National Museum of Scotland has made available online include samples of yarn used by Bernat Klein, various garments and textiles from the early 20th century, coins and metal work dating back to the 4th century, and several works by painter George Barbier.
Google hopes that this new technology will aid people in planning trips to these museums, act as a resource for teachers, and allow the those who cannot travel to view works of cultural importance. Quartzy comments that these virtual tours will also come in handy when limited-time exhibits become sold out:
Making tours of cultural institutions available online means more people will exposed to exhibitions that are difficult to either get to or are sold out very quickly. For example, last month, Google announced that the British Library’s most popular exhibition—”Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” which includes objects from JK Rowling’s personal archive and sold out every available ticket—will be going online after the exhibit. The virtual exhibit will be available for free, worldwide, and in six languages.
The National Museum of Scotland is happy to be a part of the project. Rob Cawston, head of digital media at National Museums Scotland, said:
“Digital technology is offering us unparalleled opportunities to do just that, and our partnership with Google Arts and Culture gives people from around the world a novel new way to explore the museum.”