Weekly Feature

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AP/Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building
in Washington, DC.

Exploring Real-World Museums, Online

November 15, 2009
by findingDulcinea Staff
Even with five days dedicated to museums we aren't able to even come close to the amount of archived collections available online. So if you want to find more historic remnants online or if you are just looking for some fun ways to explore science, art, history, or really anything else, try some of the following resources to help you discover a few more online museums.

Looking for More?

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Even with five days dedicated to museums we aren't able to even come close to the amount of archived collections available online. So if you want to find more historic remnants online or if you are just looking for some fun ways to explore science, art, history, or really anything else, try some of the following resources to help you discover a few more online museums.

Did you Know?

Lots of museums have discounts for members (those that pay an annual fee to help support the museum). If any museum is of particular interest to you, buying a membership can give you discounted (or sometimes free) admission. Many memberships can be purchased on a museum's Web site.

If you'd like to browse a digital gallery with a lot of images, consider doing so in a location with a fast Internet connection. Dial-up Internet or any connection with a low bandwidth can make viewing lots of images (or trying to play some of the online games) a very slow and sometimes frustrating process. If you don't have a fast connection at home, try using a public computer at a local library.

Although not all museums are registered under the ".museum" top-level domain, the global museum community recognizes museum addresses that end in ".museum" as genuine museum activity and material. If you are uncertain about a museum's validity, check the list here.

Click "find museums" to search by location or keyword for the museums that use this top-level domain.

Need Direction?

Museum directories are a great place to find online collections. Probably the most comprehensive museum directory is the one from the Virtual Library of the World Wide Web.

This site has an index of the museum Web sites around the globe. Sort museums by location, by museum type, or use the keyword search feature to find a museum that houses pieces of interest to you. The "top sites" feature will provide links to some of the most interesting and interactive museum Web sites online. If you just want a listing of the museums in the United States try this subsection of the site.

Although some of the "news" and "exhibit" sections are out of date, Museumstuff.com has a pretty decent directory of museums, both on and offline. The clean design of this site makes it a bit easier to navigate than some of its more up-to-date counterparts.

Museum.com features current museum and historical site news and interesting exhibits from around the world. You'll also find user submitted photographs of noteworthy places. Because of its global appeal, you might find updates from postings in languages other than English, but if you are wiling to navigate the occasional language barrier, you might find some compelling links.

Think Outside the Building

The Museum of Online Museums might be one of the most interesting sites you ever visit. Find links to the online collections of many well-known museums, as well as to the less familiar like the collection of airline spoons or roadside art.

Zoos are a sort of living museum. If you'd rather walk around outside and witness feeding time at the sea lion tank than look the fossil of an ancient animal, take a look at Zoos Worldwide.

You'll be able to search for museums in your area as well as view some live Web cams of animals around the world.
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