Until now, many images of the British Museum could already be seen online, but in times of confinement it is appreciated that there has been a substantial increase in the offer: 280,000 Creative Commons images have been included , which added to what is available reaches 1.9 million of images .
All these photographs can be downloaded, adapted and used free of charge for non-commercial purposes, provided the museum is credited. And, for the first time since the launch of the online catalog in 2007, users can explore the 4.5 million objects digitized to date on mobile phones and tablets .
The museum’s plan to increase its digital presence is not new. In fact, this exact release was originally planned for later this year. Still, fueled by closures and cancellations around the world, the institution’s team decided to present the new images well in advance in the hope of bringing cultural comfort to those taking refuge in their homes .
Allowing the public to download and transform images enables users to more fully interact with museum artifacts, making them participants in the creation of cultural history.
Today we’re excited to launch a major revamp of our Collection online! 🏛📲We’ve been working extra hard to bring you this update early so you can #MuseumFromHome even better than before. Access the collection digitally wherever you are: https://t.co/a2CPohwarP pic.twitter.com/py0ppV4ktV
– British Museum (@britishmuseum) April 28, 2020
Some of the objects on the site have also been scanned and uploaded in such detail that viewers can explore nooks and crannies invisible to the naked eye .
Among the artifacts depicted in such high definition are the Rosetta Stone ; Hoa Hakananai’a , a Rapa Nui sculpture from Easter Island; the Game of Ur , an approximately 5,000-year-old board game that once delighted the residents of Mesopotamia; and a 1,600-year-old scroll of Chinese admonitions .