07.12.2016

Tallinn City Museum is the first Estonian museum to be represented on the Google Arts & Culture platform

Tallinn City Museum is the first Estonian museum to open a virtual exhibition on the Google Arts & Culture platform, enabling the museum and its assets to be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Multimedia solutions are already common in museums. However, a museum display becoming a part of media that reaches every corner of the world is a newer trend, with its effect on the museum scene still being impossible to predict. Thousands of cultural objects can already be accessed through the Google Arts & Culture platform—archives, national parks and museums all over the world, including the British Museum, MoMa, and Musée d’Orsay. Now, Tallinn City Museum is one of them.

“I am glad that local cultural assets that used to be hidden in depositories are now accessible around the world in the form of high-quality images,” noted Director Kalmar Ulm.

The online display is comprised of 3D virtual tours and virtual exhibitions assembled from them, and of high-resolution photos of the museum exhibits. For this, the City Museum made public more than 160 museum exhibits, of which 2/3 have been held in depositories, away from spectators.

At present, five thematic exhibitions have been compiled from the material. The project is in development, also offering a lot to discover for the people engaged with it. For most of the objects, a link to the MuIS database of Estonian museums has been added. A view of the medieval merchant’s house of the Tallinn City Museum, as well as the artillery tower of Kiek in de Kök and Peter the Great House Museum is given.

“The first virtual exhibition by an Estonian museum on the Google Arts & Culture platform (the first local cultural institution was the National Archive) is available both online and in the form of an Android and iOS application,” says Karel Zova, Chief Specialist for Displays and Exhibitions at the Tallinn City Museum, introducing the project. The endeavour began in 2015, when depository managers selected the most interesting items not yet shown to the public from their collections and an operator from Google visited the buildings of the City Museum to photograph the 3D Street View panoramas. In the future it will be possible to capture works of art using super high resolution gigapixel-technology, but the global waiting list for this work is long.

Tallinn City Museum, celebrating its 80th anniversary at the end of 2017, currently covers 12 sub-units located in the Old Town and Kadriorg, which maintain and present local history and cultural heritage. Most of the 170,000 museum pieces preserved in the collections of the City Museum can be found in the MuIS database of Estonian museum collections, although Google Arts&Culture is offering unprecedented opportunities for revealing the stories being told by the museum. Initially, all of the content of the platform is available in English.

The exposition of Tallinn City Museum can be accessed here www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/u/0/partner/tallinn-city-museum

Read more about the Google Arts&Culture platform here: www.google.com/culturalinstitute/about/