Museum websites are now full of extra information and resources. Many of the free museum studies resources are from famous institutions. You might remember too, that a couple of months ago, I reposted a blog entry about the 40 most viewed videos YouTube videos from Zoos, Aquariums and museums.
I thought it might be interesting to compile a list of museum that have video content hosted on their websites or elsewhere to save you lovely people the hassle of searching around. The emphasis is on materials in English, as I think most of the subscribers to this blog are English speakers.
It’s also interesting to note how many museums have uploaded a couple of videos and then nothing for months or years. Were they not getting a return on the investment? How can it be measured in such a short period? I didn’t include museums that only had a couple of videos and hadn’t been updated in a long time.
Museum Studies - Universities and Associations, other
University of Michigan - Full lectures from the “Exhibiting Controversy: From Mapplethorpe to ‘Body Worlds’ and Beyond” and the “Conversation about…” series, including ‘Museums and Communities’, “Museums and Civic Engagement” and more.
Centre for the Future of Museums - An initiative of the American Museums Association as a repository for ideas about museums and society. Could be one to watch.
University of Hawaii - Including an exhibition planning series and a lecture about ‘getting cultural heritage on the national agenda’.
Smithsonian Education - So good it comes up twice. This is the link to the museum studies specific playlist.
Seton Hall, Centre for Museum Ethics - Their mission statement says it all: “The Institute of Museum Ethics mission is threefold: * To promote accountability, transparency and social responsibility in the museum * To foreground museum ethics as one of the most pivotal issues to museum professionals in the twenty first century * To create a physical and virtual community of emerging and practicing museum professionals and museum studies faculty who use our resources to make informed decisions about ethical issues.”
The Museum Computer Network - Sounds pretty dry perhaps, but has some good debates and interesting technology spotlights.
National Museums Liverpool - Vimeo. Behind-the-scenes interviews, conservation, exhibition teasers, access guides to the various sites. Best of all, that many of the videos are also available with BSL interpretation.
Victoria and Albert Museum - Vimeo. A massive 603 videos! Covering all manner of content, exhibition summaries, info about specific art movements, lots on fashion, lectures and more.
Harris Museum, Preston - Vimeo. Some really interesting videos, including the historian Dan Cruickshank talking about the Industrial Revolution in Preston, historical film, exhibition intros and community projects.
National Museums Scotland - Vimeo. In-depth looks at specific objects, special events and a series about how museum exhibitions are created (specifically, the role played by the various professionals, from conservation to marketing).
Museum of London - Vimeo. Interesting talks with prominent people from Wayne Hemmingway to Will Self, animations from the exhibitions and short info-docs, e.g. “Dickens, Crime and Victorian London”.
Pitt Rivers Museum - Historical film archive
National Railway Museum - Vary train based (as you might imagine) including a series about the the restoration of the Flying Scotsman.
National Army Museum - Interviews with veterans, features relating to temporary exhibition (e.g. “War Horse: fact and fiction”), Lunchtime lectures and more.
Tate - Home of “Tate Shots”, short pieces with artists talking about their work and studio visitis, recordings of live performances and more.
The Courtauld Institute - Shot videos including introductions to the collection, spotlights on particular pieces, techniques etc and introductions to exhibitions.
Natural History Museum - Playlists that address different exhibitions, symposia and lectures, the history of the collection, scientific areas (e.g. Biodiversity) and artistic interventions.
National Media Museum - Community engagement, highlights from the Bradford Film Festival, discussions with actors, documentary series about the Internet.
The Manchester Museum - another prolific uploader with a comprehensive, high-quality offering. Everything from school trips, curator talks, discussions, object biographies and a series called “Collective Conversations” including one highlight about the Police and Coronor investigation of the ‘Lindow Man’. Museum Studies highlight: “Museums and social issues about disability”.
The Ashmolean - A relatively new (Jan 2012) but growing collection of videos looking at the galleries, recent development and education.
Harvard Museum of Natural History - Vimeo. In-depth lectures and talks, information about the research that the museum carries out and answers to some of those burning NatHist questions like; why did the human head evolve to what we have now? What is a forest?
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - Vimeo. Sneak peeks and documentary-style information about the Silk Road.
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - Youtube. Discussions, interviews, factual snippets, evolution, demonstrations of how material culture is made and identified, teacher orientations etc
Smithsonian Education - Comprehensive! Teacher and student orientations, museum related lectures, education videos, heritage and history month related videos.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Comprehensive (500 videos at time of writing): exhibitions spotlights, staff interviews, lectures, object profiles and much more.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Survivor interviews, discussion and lecture interviews, work in relation to other genocides, objects spotlights and more.
The Mütter Museum - Guess the object, one minute object spotlights, curator lectures.
The Smithsonian Museum of American Art - Lectures and symposia, ‘Director’s Choice’ tour of the museum, exhibitions and conservation.
MOMA - Spotlights on different techniques, movements, women artists, exhibitions current and upcoming, walkthroughs, interviews and more.
The National Museum of the American Indian - Lecture series, native storytelling practices. Museum studies highlight: what seems to be the whole of the conference titled “(Re)Presenting America: The Evolution of the Culturally Specific Museum”.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library - An ‘Artefact of the month’ feature, performances, ‘Historian Insights’ playlist and a playlist dedicated to speeches given by Barack Obama that reference Lincoln. History in action! FDR’s has a channel too. As does JFK. More of a Clinton fan?
The Museum of Jewish Heritage - An eclectic mix of survivor testimonies, discussions and lectures.
The Stedilijk Museum - Vimeo. Some of the content is in English, including workshops and introductions to the museums.
The Van Gogh Museum - Curators, artists and researchers discuss Van Gogh’s life an work, examination of his technique and details of ongoing research projects.
Museum and Gallery Services Queensland - Very museum studies oriented, rather than visitor oriented. Presentations, discussions and such-like.
The Australian Museum - Behind-the-scenes snippets, community programmes and indigenous craft sessions, collections tours and more.
Museum of Health Care - Vimeo. Curator interviews, object explanations, family events and activity packs explained, presentations etc.
Vienna Jewish Museum - Most videos are in German, but there are a couple of overview videos in English, including the virtual reality reconstruction of the medieval ghetto.
The Jewish Museum - Very obligingly has two channels, one for English and one for German. Museum Studies highlight: Playlist called “What we won’t show you”, described as “The objects a museum displays are significant. But what museums won’t show you can be equally revealing. In these film clips, staff of the Jewish Museum Berlin talk about what you won’t see, thereby shedding light on German-Jewish life, on collecting, restoring, presenting as well as on ethical questions and political debates.”
These represent some of the more prolific or universally interesting examples, but there are hundreds more to choose from. Mustard Museums, Hello Kitty, Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, National Quilt Museum or Dr Pepper. There truly is something for everyone.
If you want to wade through all the channels that show up on YouTube when you search for ‘museum’, click here.
Did I make a glaring omission? Let me know your favourite (any platform) and I’ll add it. I’ll also add a tab to the museumsandstuff homepage so the list can be easily accessed like the free resources.