By: Danielle McMahon-Jones, Exhibit Development Coordinator
“Let’s Go to the Museum!” I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve said these words; usually in a state of frantic excitement!
Museums have always been exciting and fun places for me. When I travel somewhere new, the first thing I do is look up the museums and galleries in the area; eager to immerse myself in the local history as fast as I possibly can!
What is even more exciting for me than exploring museums myself is providing a memorable museum experience for other people.
Museums are magical places where artifact collections, well-crafted exhibits and imaginative programming all work together to create something so valuable and moving.
You learn new facts, make fun memories, relate to other people and the world around you in new ways, make personal connections and feel so many feelings!
As a Museum professional, it has been challenging to navigate replicating this experience for online visitors during this global pandemic. But, I think I figured it out! You can’t.
End of blog.
You can never truly replicate the experience of being in a Museum. However, Glanmore staff and Museums around the world have been trying to bring the exhibit and programming experience online in new and fun ways!
Many Museums have tours, exhibitions and artifact collections available online!
Inspiration as an Exhibit Development Coordinator is key to developing new and engaging exhibits, online and offline. I thought it would be great to share some links to institutions that have inspired me over the last few months!
Virtual Museums of Canada – Virtual Museums of Canada has something for everyone! From a scavenger hunt of the St. Lawrence to exhibits on arctic expeditions, Indigenous history, music, nature, David Cronenberg, and more; it is impossible not to find something to explore!
Canadian Museum of History – The Canadian Museum of History has excellent online exhibitions with topics ranging from Rocket Richard to medical history; catalogue shopping to musical instruments; Indigenous history and art to the postal service; even puppets! There is so much variety available for online visitors!
Canadian War Museum – The Canadian War Museum website features exhibits on a variety of armed forces history from the War of 1812, the American Revolution, WWI, WWII, war propaganda and more!
Black Creek Pioneer Village – Black Creek Pioneer Village has an online exhibit called “Class of ‘67” which explores what it was like to grow up in Canada during the time of Confederation. There is a “choose your own adventure” game that puts players into the shoes of a character living in 1867. There are many supplementary materials online for teachers and parents to guide students while they learn. It is very educational and a lot of fun!
Royal Ontario Museum – The ROM has online exhibits to explore! One exhibit is “Blue Whale Project” that follows the journey of a team from the ROM to Newfoundland in 2014 to retrieve a blue whale that had washed ashore.
Their collections are separated into three categories: Art and Culture, Natural History and Collection Highlights. There is also an interactive map where you can travel the world exploring the ROM’s artifacts and where they originate from!
Archives of Ontario – The Archives of Ontario website has many online exhibits with topics ranging from animals, agriculture, Black History, art, toys, Toronto’s subway system and mid-20th Century Christmas. You can get lost in these interesting exhibits for quite a while!
Canadian Museums Association – The CMA has a thorough directory of online exhibits and virtual tours Canada wide!