There is an ever-growing selection of ways to enjoy virtual visits to museums and heritage sites around the world, ranging from a new digital museum about the history of Japanese people in New York to a 360° tour of Prague Castle. Whatever you’re interested in, there’s sure to be something for you.
• National Museum of Korea, South Korea
Explore exhibits at the museum virtually with 3D walk-throughs and learn about different aspects of Korean art and history.
• Digital Museum of the History of Japanese
in NY, USA
Find out about the history of Japanese and Japanese-American people in New York through this new online museum.
• National Museum – New Delhi, India
Learn more about India’s history with online exhibits on ‘Indian bronzes’ and ‘the art of calligraphy’, as well as highlights from the museum’s collections and Street Views of the galleries.
• National Army Museum, UK
Delve into the National Army Museum’s collections with the ‘Explore’ page, which offers online exhibits on themes ranging from regimental badges to the War Widows’ Association.
• #MetKids, USA
Explore the Metropolitan
Museum of Art with this fun interactive map, which allows you to find out more about different areas of the building
and objects in its collection.
• Oriental Institute Museum, USA
Discover objects and stories from the collection of the Oriental Institute in Chicago with online exhibits, digital collections, and Google Street View access to the museum.
• Leeds Museums & Galleries, UK
Virtually visit a range of exhibitions from Leeds Museums & Galleries. Subjects include mental health in Leeds, innovations that shaped the city, and the story of Florence Nightingale.
• Treasures of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Travel to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Saxony-Anhalt and find out more about the area’s rich history, ranging from Bauhaus architecture in Dessau to the life of Martin Luther.
• Religious Relics, Wales
Discover a new virtual tour of the 17th-century Rug Chapel
in Denbighshire and explore several other religious sites.
• Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, South Korea
Learn more about this 18th-century fortress, built in the Joseon Dynasty to house the remains of Crown Prince Jangheon.
• Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Enjoy a virtual tour of Prague Castle through 360º images, experience the views from the gardens and courtyards, and examine St Vitus Cathedral, the Old Royal Palace, and more.
• Catacombs of Paris, France
Explore the ossuary containing the remains of several million Parisians, created in the late 1700s in tunnels under the city.
• Roman Walls of Lugo, Spain
Experience an astonishing example of late Roman fortifications in western Europe with this online exhibition and virtual tour.
• Jericho: An Ancient City Revealed
This new online exhibition from Durham University’s Oriental Museum presents never-before-seen artefacts that tell the story of ancient Jericho from the Neolithic to the Iron Age.
Learning in lockdown
Explore resources related to history, culture, and heritage, including short videos from institutions like the Rijksmuseum and the Novium, podcasts covering everything from Australian history to famous explorers, and Twitter trends and TikTok content from museums and cultural organisations.
EVENTS AND EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
• Rijksmuseum in 60 seconds
Listen to curators from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam talk about their favourite works in the museum’s collection in this series of short, informative videos.
• Virtual Museum of New France
Discover what drew the French to North America and find out about the lives of Canada’s first European inhabitants with this online exhibition from the Canadian Museum of History.
• Scan the World
This open-source museum allows you to discover 3D-printable versions of sculptures and cultural artefacts, offering a unique opportunity to examine these objects in new detail.
• Pitt Rivers Museum
Find a selection of events from the Pitt Rivers in Oxford, including online exhibitions, livestreams, and webinars.
• The Novium
Enjoy a series of short videos on the Novium’s YouTube channel introducing characters from the Roman period, including a medic, a slave, a wealthy lady, and a soldier.
• Time Travel Rome
Explore Roman cities, fortresses, sanctuaries, and theatres across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East with this app, which details some 5,000 sites around the Roman Empire.
PODCASTS AND RADIO
• Objects Out Loud
This new podcast explores poetry and literature inspired by, and connected to, objects in the Ashmolean’s collections.
• The Explorers Podcast
Find out about famous explorations, from Viking father-and-son team Erik the Red and Leif Erikson to the Apollo 11 astronauts.
• Gone Medieval
Explore stories from the Middle Ages in this new podcast from History Hit, covering topics like the Cerne Abbas Giant, the rise of Henry VII, and trade routes from East Africa.
Listen to discussions of topics in archaeology and prehistory, including community-based and indigenous archaeology, marine archaeology, and the archaeological use of dogs.
• Against the Lore
Enjoy this ancient history podcast, which looks back on Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern history to see if ancient lore can shed light on modern-day issues.
• Australian Histories Podcast
Discover stories from Australia’s past, ranging from the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme to salvage operations to rescue a ship sunk by sea mines in the Second World War.
Find photos and videos of Roman forts around the world
on Twitter every Thursday, with individuals and organisations posting about their favourite sites under this hashtag.
• Beamish Museum Instagram
Enjoy updates from an open-air living museum that tells the story of North East England in the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s, and 1950s.
Explore images, videos, and updates from behind the scenes at museums and heritage sites around the world under this Museum Week hashtag on Twitter.
• Louvre Museum Instagram
Discover artworks and artefacts from the Louvre’s collections and exhibitions, as well as photos and videos from around the museum, with captions in English and French.
• Carnegie Museum of Natural
Carnegie Museum of Natural History has captured attention with their light-hearted videos on TikTok featuring snail facts and jokes, behind-the-scenes videos from conservators and curators, and more.
• Google Arts & Culture
Google Arts & Culture’s Twitter account offers a wealth of facts and images related to art, history, and heritage around the world, as well as regular challenges, questions, and mini quizzes.
Find a wide variety of craft projects, activities, and games from museums and heritage organisations, and get involved in making your own ancient cave art, testing your knowledge in online quizzes, and learning about old Scottish words related to water. Or discover TV shows that go behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum, explore the history of Coventry Cathedral, and much more.
CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES
• National Museum Wales: Museum from Home
Get stuck into a variety of creative activities inspired by the National Museum of Wales, from making your own family crest to recreating ancient cave art or trying out paper-weaving.
• The New Children’s Museum
Discover a wealth of craft activity ideas related to nature, art, and culture – try DIY foil-embossing or create abstract quilts, recycled rockets, self-portrait collages, and more.
Find the instructions for this water-themed instruction-action game from Historic Environment Scotland, which introduces old words and phrases that used to be associated with water in Scotland.
• San Diego Natural History Museum
Have a go at a range of family-friendly nature-themed activities, including DIY crafts, colouring pages, nature searches, bingo, scavenger hunts, and more.
• National Army Museum
Enjoy a selection of activities and learning resources from the National Army Museum, ranging from ‘Mini Missions’
and craft ideas for younger children to more advanced ‘Operation Science’ videos and experiments.
• Leeds Museums & Galleries
Explore more activities from Leeds Museum and Galleries: bake your own waterwheel biscuits, make an Anglo-Saxon shield or Roman mosaic, enjoy some mindful colouring activities, or have a go at some online games and quizzes.
• Inside Culture
Enjoy the new season of Inside Culture, in which Mary Beard explores themes such as how we remember, how travel limitations affect arts and culture, and what happens when
we don’t act our age.
• Natural History Museum: World of Wonder
Go behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum and find out about unique and rare objects in its collections that
are too valuable to exhibit to the public, as well as the projects and research being carried out by museum staff.
• Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer
Find out about the scientific and medical innovations that have defeated some of the world’s deadliest diseases, and the effect that medicine has had on life expectancy throughout history.
• Coventry Cathedral: Building for a New Britain
Discover the story of Coventry’s modern cathedral and the times in which it was built, after the original was destroyed
by German bombers during the Second World War.
• Chatsworth House
Go behind the scenes at the stately home of Chatsworth in Derbyshire, finding out how the house and its contents are cared for, and how the team has coped with the ups and downs of COVID-19.
• Lost Pyramids of the Aztecs
Archaeologists explore the impressive architecture and monuments built by the Aztecs, visiting ancient sites, conducting new excavations, and carrying out experimental archaeology in order to better understand the once-powerful empire.
As we write, many museums and heritage sites across the UK and Ireland have reopened to visitors, including some that have undergone major refurbishments or redevelopments while closed. Here are some of the places that you can now visit in person again, so do go and support your local heritage institutions if you can – and look out for more to come over the summer.
• The Box, Plymouth
The Box is now open again, and Plymouth’s Elizabethan House will reopen as an immersive visitor experience on 20 July following major restoration. Tickets are available online.
• Museum of Making, Derby
A large development project has transformed Derby Silk Mill into the Museum of Making, celebrating 300 years of industry. Entry slots and tickets for exhibitions can be booked online.
• Imperial War Museum
The IMW London, IMW North, and Churchill War Rooms are now open to visitors again, with IMW Duxford and HMS Belfast opening later this summer. Tickets must be booked in advance.
• Museum of the Home
In east London, the Museum of the Home (formerly the Geffrye Museum) has opened with expanded buildings, new galleries, and other refurbishments. Entry is free but must be pre-booked.
• Jorvik Viking Centre
Jorvik Viking Centre has now reopened to visitors. Visitor numbers are reduced, opening hours have been extended
to assist with social distancing, and tickets for a given timeslot must be pre-booked.
• Thackray Museum of Medicine
The medical museum in Leeds has undergone a major renovation to create 11 new galleries and improve its existing exhibits. Tickets must be booked in advance.
• Victoria & Albert Museum
The V&A is open again, Wednesday-Sunday, with exhibitions including Epic Iran and Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser. Advance booking is required for museum entry and exhibitions.
• Historic Environment Scotland
Several heritage sites across Scotland have reopened to visitors, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles. Tickets must be pre-booked online.
• National Trust
The National Trust has reopened many of its sites and houses across Northern Ireland, as well as more locations in England and Wales. Tickets for the upcoming week are available online.
• Fishbourne Roman Palace
Fishbourne Roman Palace and Gardens is now open to visitors again. Tickets are required but there is no need to book in advance.
• Royal Collections Trust
Royal Collections Trust has reopened many of its locations to visitors, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Tickets must be booked in advance.
• English Heritage
Many English Heritage sites around the country have now reopened but be sure to check what measures are in place at individual sites before visiting. Advance booking is required.
• Roman Vindolanda Fort & Museum
Roman Vindolanda Fort and Museum and the Roman Army Museum are now open again. Tickets and arrival slots must
be booked in advance.
• Butser Ancient Farm
Tickets for selected dates at the Hampshire experimental archaeology centre are now on sale. Opening hours are currently restricted to weekends, but Butser will open on weekdays as well from 19 July.