Compass at the British Museum

History Today, March 2001 | Go to article overview

Compass at the British Museum


www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass

Designed to complement the shifts in function and identity at the British Museum with the opening of the Great Court last December, this online resource aims to allow visitors to explore the museum's extensive collections beyond the institutional walls. Its database is a valuable resource in its own right, containing 4,000 objects -- and rising -- with images and their accompanying notes, but the additional aspects make this an unmissable stop on the web.

The project makes great use of the vibrant images of the artefacts explored, with three sizes available, ranging from a thumbnail, through a mid-size image alongside explanatory text and onto a higher-resolution to focus on visual details. These images and expert notes from the various Museum departments, are accessed through individual searches or guided `tours'.

Both these formats encourage a great deal of interaction between the museum and the online database -- with searches available via the Museum number on the display tags, and tours relating to current exhibitions, such as Human Image, but they also function well within an online context alone. …

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